Earls of Rosslyn (1801)


1st Earl of Rosslyn, Alexander Wedderburn, b.1733, a.1801, d.1805


The title of 1st Earl of Rosslyn was created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom for Alexander Wedderburn, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain from 1793 to 1801. He started out as an advocate in Edinburgh but gained access to the English Bar, and became well known for his powers of argument in debating circles. He entered politics under the guidance of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, who had been Prime Minister, with a view to that position himself. His first task was to obtain a peerage, which he obtained in 1780 in becoming Chief Justice in the Court of Common Pleas, whereon he became 1st Baron Loughborough, county Leicester. However, his switches of allegiance beget a measure of distrust that he could never totally shake, although he did become Lord Chancellor under William Pitt, obtaining the earldom on stepping down from that position. In 1795, knowing that he was to be succeeded by his nephew, he obtained an additional peerage as 1st Baron Loughborough, county Surrey, with special remainder to his nephew. At his death the first barony thereby became extinct but the second one was allowed to transfer to his successor.



Baronets Erskine of Alva (1666)


1st Baronet Erskine, Charles Erskine, b.1643, a.1666, d.1690


He was the son of Sir Charles Erskine of Alva (b.?, d.1663) and Mary Hope, daughter of Sir Thomas Hope, 1st Baronet Hope of Craighall, and grandson of John Erskine, 2nd and 18th Earl of Mar. He was MP for Clackmannan and Stirling and made 1st Baronet Erskine of Alva in the Peerage of Nova Scotia in 1666.


2nd Baronet Erskine, James Erskine, b.c.1670, a.1690, d.1693


Son of the 1st Baronet and Christian Dundas, daughter of Sir James Dundas of Arniston.


3rd Baronet Erskine, John Erskine, b.1672, a.1693, d.1739


Younger brother of the 2nd Baronet.


4th Baronet Erskine, Charles Erskine, b.?, a.1739, d.1747


Son of the 3rd Baronet and Catherine Sinclair, daughter of Henry St Clair, 10th Lord St Clair.


5th Baronet Erskine, Henry Erskine, b.?, a.1747, d.1765


Son of the 4th Baronet and Henrietta Fraser. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant-General in the British Army.


6th Baronet Erskine, James Erskine, b.1762, a.1765, d.1837


Son of the 5th Baronet and Janet Wedderburn (b.?, d.1797), sister to Alexander Wedderburn, 1st Earl of Rosslyn. He was educated at Edinburgh High and at Eton, and became a distinguished soldier, rising through the ranks to become a General in 1814. He also served as a Whig MP from 1782 until 1805. In 1789 her inherited the Dysart and Rosslyn estates of the Lords St Clair by way of his paternal grandmother Catherine St Clair, daughter of Henry Sinclair, 10th Lord St Clair, by way of attainder, and added this to his surname. In 1805 he succeeded his uncle as 2nd Earl of Rosslyn.



Earls of Rosslyn (continued)


2nd Earl of Rosslyn, James St Clair Erskine, b.1762, a.1805, d.1837


By the time he succeeded his uncle as earl, he was considered a Tory and served in the Duke of Wellington’s government as Lord Privy Seal from 1829 to 1830 and Lord President of the Council from 1834 to 1835. He was also Lord-Lieutenant of Fife from 1828 to 1837.


3rd Earl of Rosslyn, James Alexander St Clair Erskine, b.1802, a.1837, d.1866


Son of the 2nd Earl and Harriet Elizabeth Bouverie (b.1771, d.1810). He was an MP for Dysart Burghs, and served under Sir Robert Peel as Master of the Buckhounds from 1841 to 1846, a position on the Royal Household held by a politician, now extinct. He commanded the auxiliary regiment, the Fife Mounted Rifle Volunteers, from 1860 to his death.


4th Earl of Rosslyn, Robert Francis St Clair-Erskine, b.1833, a.1866, d.1890


Son of the 3rd Earl and Frances Wemyss (b.?, d.1858), a descendant of James Wemyss, 5th Earl of Wemyss. Another Tory politician, he was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland from 1870 to 1873 and he was Chief Whip in the House of Lords under Lord Salisbury’s government with the title of Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms from 1886 to 1890.


5th Earl of Rosslyn, James Francis Harry St Clair-Erskine, b.1869, a.1890, d.1939


Son of the 4th Earl and Blanche Adeliza Fitzroy (b.1839, d.1933), a descendent of Augustus Henry Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of Grafton.


6th Earl of Rosslyn, Anthony Hugh Francis Harry St Clair-Erskine, b.1917, a.1939, d.1977


Grandson of the 5th Earl and Violet Aline Vyner (b.?, d.1945) and son of Francis Edward Scudamore St Clair-Erskine (b.1892, d.1929) and Sheila Margaret MacKellar (b.1898, d.1969). His mother later married Dmitri Romanov, Prince of Russia.


7th Earl of Rosslyn, Peter St Clair-Erskine, b.1958, a.1977


Son of the 6th Earl and Athenais de Rochechouart de Mortemart, daughter of Louis Victor de Mortemart, Duc de Vionne. Educated at Eton and Bristol University, he joined the Metropolitan Police in 1980 and in 2003 became head of the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department. As well as being 7th Earl, he is also 7th Baron Loughborough and 11th Baronet Erskine of Alva.



The courtesy title for the heir is Lord Loughborough.


(Last updated: 18/09/2009)