Earls of Lothian (1606)


1st Earl of Lothian, Mark Kerr, b.c.1533, a.1606, d.1609


Mark Kerr was from the ancient and highly respected family of Kerr of Cessford, his father, also Mark Kerr (b.?, d.1584), had been an MP, Lord of Session and Commendator of Newbattle Abbey (a lay position with the same secular responsibilities as the abbacy), while his mother, Helen Leslie (b.?, d.1594) was a daughter of George Leslie, 4th Earl of Rothes. He was created Master of Requests in 1577, a short lived Great Office of State created by James V, succeeded his father as Commendator in 1581. and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1587. In 1591, he was made 1st Lord Newbottle (or Newbattle), the estates of the Abbey being converted into a secular lordship. In 1604, he was temporarily Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and he was created 1st Earl of Lothian in 1606.


2nd Earl of Lothian, Robert Kerr, b.?, a.1609, d.1624


Son of the 1st Earl and Margaret Maxwell (b.?, d.1617), daughter of Sir John Maxwell (b.1512, d.1582-1583), himself a son of Robert Maxwell, 4th Lord Maxwell (for whom see the earls of Nithsdale), and Agnes Herries, 4th Baroness Herries of Terregles (b.1534, d.1593-1594). Educated at the University of Padua, he succeeded his father as Master of Requests in 1606. In 1621, he was re-granted the lordship with special remainder, firstly to his young son who died shortly afterwards, and then to his daughters in turn as long as they married within the Kerr family. Under no such restriction, the earldom should have transferred to the eldest son of his eldest surviving younger brother. However the Privy Council intervened and prevented the earldom from being transferred.


3rd Earl (Countess) of Lothian, Anne Kerr, b.?, a.1624, d.1667


Daughter of the 2nd Earl and Lady Annabella Campbell (b.?, d.1652), daughter of Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll. Having married another Kerr, namely William Kerr (b.?, d.c.1675), son of Sir Robert Kerr, 1st Earl of Ancram, she was permitted to succeed to her father's earldom, with her husband referred to as 3rd Earl of Lothian. However, he was subsequently created 1st Earl of Lothian and 1st Lord Kerr of Newbattle in 1631, indicating that the previous earldom was expected to become extinct on Anne's death.



Earls of Lothian (1631)


1st Earl of Lothian, William Kerr, b.?, a.1631, d.1675


William Kerr was the son of Robert Kerr, (later) 1st Earl of Ancram by his first wife, Elizabeth Murray (b.?, d.b.1620). He was created 1st Earl of Lothian and 1st Lord Kerr of Newbattle in 1631 after marrying the Anne Kerr, 3rd Countess of Lothian, it being inappropriate for husband and father (his son expected to inherit Anne's title) of peers not to be one himself. Highly educated and gaining experience as a soldier under the Duke of Buckingham on the Continent, he signed the Covenant in 1638, was a Commissioner of the Treasury in 1642, and led the Scots Army in Ireland during the Irish Confederate Wars (part of the British Civil Wars) against the Irish Catholics. Returning to Scotland the following year, he was raised to the Privy Council and visited the Court of France with the King’s approval. On his return journey, he was briefly held at Bristol Castle on suspicion of treason. He took a seat in Parliament in 1644 and joined Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll in the Scottish Civil War against the Royalists under James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose. He was among the commissioners sent to treat with King Charles I in 1647. He opposed the Engagement and was created Secretary of State in 1649, and was one of the commissioners sent by the Scottish Parliament to England to protest against the harsh treatment of the King.


2nd Earl of Lothian, Robert Kerr, b.1636, a.1675, d.1703


Son of the 1st Earl and 3rd Countess. Born at Newbattle, he was educated abroad from 1651 to 1657, and unsuccessfully claimed the vacant earldom of Roxburghe in 1658. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1686 but supported the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and though dismissed by James VII was later retained in that position by King William. In 1689 he was made Lord Justice General and in 1690 he succeeded his uncle as 3rd Earl of Ancram. In 1692 he was made Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland. In 1701 was created 1st Marquess of Lothian, 1st Earl of Ancram, 1st Viscount of Briene and 1st Lord Kerr of Newbattle, Oxnam, Jedburgh, Dolphinstoun and Nisbet.



Marquesses of Lothian (1701)


1st Marquess of Lothian, Robert Kerr, b.1636, a.1701, d.1703


He was appointed as a commissioner for the Treaty of Union in 1702, but died before negotiations were completed.


2nd Marquess of Lothian, William Kerr, b.c.1661, a.1702-1703, d.1722


Son of the 1st Marquess and Lady Jean Campbell, daughter of Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll. In 1692 he succeeded as 5th Lord Jedburgh on the death of his distant relative as per the remainder in a re-grant of that title. In 1696 he was promoted to Colonel of the 7th Dragoons, reaching the rank of Brigadier-General in 1702 and Major-General in 1704, followed in 1707 by a transfer to the Scots Guards, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant-General in 1708. In 1705 he was made a Knight of the Thistle. He supported the Act of Union and was a made Representative Peer in 1708, though disbarred following voting irregularities, but was re-elected in 1715. We was removed as Colonel of the Scots Guards in 1713 for being a supporter of the Whigs in Parliament.


3rd Marquess of Lothian, William Kerr, b.c.1690, a.1722, d.1767


Son of the 2nd Marquess and Lady Jane Campbell (b.?, d.1712), daughter of Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll. A prominent politician, he served as a Representative Peer from 1730 until 1761. He was created a Knight of the Thistle in 1734. From 1732 to 1738 he was Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and from 1739 to 1756 he was Lord Clerk Register.


4th Marquess of Lothian, William Henry Kerr, b.1710, a.1767, d.1775


Son of the 3rd Marquess and Margaret Nicolson (b.?, d.1759), daughter of Sir Thomas Nicolson, 1st Baronet Nicolson of Glenbervie in the County of Kincardine. He joined the army as a Cornet in 1735 and reached the rank of Captain in the 1st Foot Guards. He fought at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and led the cavalry at Culloden in 1746 as Aide-de-Camp to the Duke of Cumberland, as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 11th Dragoons. From 1747 to 1752 he was Colonel of the 24th Foot Regiment and then returned to the 11th Dragoons as Colonel, a position he held until his death. He was an MP for Richmond from 1747 to 1763, and a Representative Peer from 1768, when he was invested as a Knight of the Thistle. He also reached the rank of Major-General in 1755, Lieutenant-General in 1758 and General in 1770.


5th Marquess of Lothian, William John Kerr, b.1737, a.1775, d.1815


Son of the 4th Marquess and Lady Caroline Darcy (b.?, d.1778), daughter of Robert Darcy, 3rd Earl of Holderness. He was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1776, and was made Colonel of the Horse Guards in 1777, which became the 1st Life Guard in 1788, reaching the rank of Major-General in 1777 and Lietuenant-General in 1782. As a Representative Peer he voted for the rights of the Prince of Wales over his father, George III, and on the King’s recovery from illness he was deprived of his colonelcy of the Guards in 1789, leaving the House of Lords the following year. He was made a General in 1796 and the became Colonel of the 11th Dragoons from 1798 to 1813, and then of the 2nd Dragoons from 1813 to 1815.


6th Marquess of Lothian, William Kerr, b.1763, a.1815, d.1824


Son of the 5th Marquess and Elizabeth Fortesque (b.1745, d.1780). He was created 1st Baron Ker of Kersheugh, in Roxburgh, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1821. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Roxburghshire from 1812 to 1824 and of Midlothian from 1819 to 1824, a Representative Peer from 1817 to 1821 and was invested as a Knight of the Thistle in 1820.


7th Marquess of Lothian, John William Robert Kerr, b.1794, a.1824, d.1841


Son of the 6th Marquess and Lady Harriet Hobart (b.1762, d.1805), daughter of Sir John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire. He became a Tory MP for Huntingdon in 1820 and served until his father’s death. In 1841 he was made a Privy Councillor and served as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard (Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords) during Robert Peel’s administration. From 1824 until his death he was Lord-Lieutenant of Roxburghshire.


8th Marquess of Lothian, William Schomberg Robert Kerr, b.1832, a.1841, d.1870


Son of the 7th Marquess and Lady Cecil Chetwynd Chetwynd-Talbot (b.1808, d.1877), daughter of Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church College, Oxford.


9th Marquess of Lothian, Schomberg Henry Kerr, b.1833, a.1870, d.1900


Younger brother of the 8th Marquess. Also educated at Eton and Christ Church College, he held a number of diplomatic posts all over the world before succeeding his brother. He was appointed Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland from 1874 to 1900, made a Privy Counsellor in 1886 and served as Secretary of State for Scotland from then until 1892 in the administration of Lord Salisbury. In 1878 he was made a Knight of the Thistle and was Rector of the University of Edinburgh from 1887 to 1890. He was President of the Royal Company of Archers from 1876 to 1884 and then Captain-General of that same organization until his death.


10th Marquess of Lothian, Robert Henry Schomberg Kerr, b.1874, a.1900, d.1930


Son of the 9th Marquess and Lady Victoria Alexandria Scott (b.1844, d.1938), daughter of Sir Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church College Oxford. He died unmarried.


11th Marquess of Lothian, Philip Henry Kerr, b.1882, a.1930, d.1940


Cousin of the 10th Marquess, being a grandson of the 7th Marquess, and son of Major-General Ralph Drury Kerr (b.1837, d.1916) and Lady Anne Fitzalan-Howard (b.1857, d.1931), daughter of Henry Granville Fitzalan-Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk. Born in London and educated at The Oratory and New College Oxford, he served in the South African government from 1905 to 1910 and then returned to Britain, eventually to become David Lloyd George’s private secretary in 1916. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1920. He then entered the business world, before succeeding his cousin and entering the House of Lords. He served as Ambassador to the United States from 1939 to his death. His family were strict Roman Catholic, and his disillusionment resulted in him joining the Church of Scientology. His family’s reaction to this prompted him to take a very anti-Catholic stance. He never married.


12th Marquess of Lothian, Peter Francis Walter Kerr, b.1922, a.1940, d.2004


Great-grandson of the 7th Marquess, grandson of Admiral Lord Walter Talbot Kerr (b.1839, d.1927) and Lady Amabell Frederica Henrietta Cowper (b.1846, d.1906), daughter of Sir George Augustus Frederick Cowper, 6th Earl Cowper, and son of Captain Andrew William Kerr (b.1877, d.1929) and Marie Constance Annabel Kerr (b.1889, d.1929), a descendant of the 5th Marquess. Educated at Ampleforth College and Christ Church College, he served in the Scots Greys during the Second World War, reaching the rank of Lieutenant. He held various government posts over his public career, being a delegate to the United Nations during the Suez Crisis, and the Council of Europe in 1959, and was ultimately a member of the European Parliament when the UK joined the EEC. He also held government posts including parliamentary private secretary in the Foreign Office under Lord Home. After his retirement, he undertook the restoration of the ancient family seat of Ferniehirst Castle in Roxburghshire. He joined the Royal Company of Archers and In 1983 he was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).


13th Marquess of Lothian, Michael Andrew Foster Jude Kerr, b.1945, a.2004


Son of the 12th Marquess and Antonella Newland (b.1922, d.2007). Known in public life as Michael Ancram, he was educated at Ampleforth, Christ Church College and the University of Edinburgh before practising as an advocate in Edinburgh. He served as a Conservative MP on and off from 1974 until 2010, for Berwickshire, Edinburgh South and lastly Devizes, and served as Minister of State for Northern Ireland from 1993 to 1994. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1996 and served in the Shadow Cabinet, being Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party from 2001 to 2005. He succeeded his father in 2004, but the 1999 House of Lords Act allowed him to retain his seat in the House of Commons as he had lost his automatic right to a seat in the House of Lords. He also joined the Royal Company of Archers and on retiring from politics was created a life peer with the title 1st Baron Kerr of Monteviot. As well as being 13th Marquess and 14th Earl of Lothian, he is also 13th and 15th Earl of Ancram, 13th Viscount of Briene, 13th Lord Kerr of Newbattle, Oxnam, Jedburgh, Dolphinstoun and Nisbet, 15th Lord Kerr of Newbattle, 14th Lord Newbottle, 16th Lord Jedburgh and 8th Baron Ker.



The courtesy title for the heir is was formerly Master of Newbottle before marriage and Lord Newbottle after marriage. This changed to Master of Jedburgh and Lord Jedburgh respectively after this title was inherited by the 2nd Earl of Lothian as it was a more senior title. When the 2nd Earl became 1st Marquess of Lothian, the courtesy title for the heir became Earl of Ancram, though often the title of Lord Jedburgh is still used prior to marriage, or for the heir's heir if all three generations are alive.


(Last updated: 03/03/2013)


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