Lords Melville of Monymaill (1616)


1st Lord Melville, Robert Melville, b.1547, a.1616, d.1621


Robert Melville came from an old Norman family that came to Scotland when David I became King. His father, Sir John Melville of Raith, was a favourite of King James V and held the posts of Captain of Dunbar Castle and Master-General of Ordnance before falling foul of the new regime and being executed for treason. Robert Melville made a Privy Counsellor in 1562 and was the Keeper of Linlithgow Palace at the end of Queen Maryís reign. He fought and was captured at the Battle of Lang and also resisted the Regent Morton at Edinburgh Castle. He came back to prominence under James VI. Later, as an Ambassador to England, he was so outspoken against Maryís sentence of death that he was almost imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth. He became Vice-Chancellor of Scotland in 1589 and was an Extraordinary Lord of Session from 1594 to 1601 and became a Scottish Law Lord using the title of Lord Murdochairnie. He finally obtained an hereditary peerage in 1616.


2nd Lord Melville, Robert Melville, b.?, a.1621, d.b.1635


Son of the 1st Lord and Katharine Adamson. He was an Extraordinary Lord of Session from 1601 to 1626 and a Scottish Law Lord under the title of Lord Burntisland. He married bur had no children.


3rd Lord Melville, John Melville, b.?, a.1635, d.1643


Second-cousin of the 2nd Lord, being grandson of the 1st Lordís brother John Melville (b.?, d.1605) and Isobel Lundie, and son of John Melville (b.c.1563, d.1626) and Margaret Scott, daughter of Sir William Scott of Balwearie.


4th Lord Melville, George Melville, b.1636, a.1643, d.1707


Son of the 3rd Lord and Anne Erskine, daughter of Sir George Erskine of Innerteil. A moderate and a Presbyterian after the Restoration, and a close ally of James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, he and his son were accused of being involved in the Rye House Plot to assassinate Charles II and fled to the Netherlands, where they joined the exiled Protestants and allied themselves to William, Prince of Orange. After the Revolution, William made him Secretary of State for Scotland and 1st Earl of Melville, 1st Viscount Kirkaldie, and 1st Lord Raith, Monymaill and Balwearie. In 1693, he was made Keeper of the Privy Seal and in 1696 President of the Privy Council.



Earls of Melville (1690)


1st Earl of Melville, George Melville, as above


2nd Earl of Melville, David Melville, b.1660, a.1707, d.1728


Son of the 1st Earl and Catherine Leslie (b.?, d.1713), daughter of Alexander Leslie, Lord Balgonie, son of Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven. In 1681, he successfully claimed the title of 3rd Earl of Leven, after his rival claimant, John Leslie, 1st Duke of Rothes, died. In 1683, he fled with his father to the Netherlands, where he worked on behalf of William of Orange to gain support for an invasion of England. During the invasion, he commanded a regiment that accepted the surrender of the town of Portsmouth. In 1706, he was a Commissioner for the Union of England and Scotland.



For a continuation of this line, please refer to the Leven page.


(Last updated: 12/08/2009)