Earls of Roxburghe (1616)

 

1st Earl of Roxburghe, Robert Ker, b.c.1570, a.1616, d.1650

 

The Kerrs, or Kers, were a well-established Border family with two main branhes, that of Ferniehurst and that of Cessford, which frequently found themselves on opposing sides in political circles. Robert Kerís grandfather Sir William Ker of Cessford had fought against Queen Mary at the Battle of Langside, while the Kers of Ferniehurst, ancestors of the earls of Lothian, had fought at her side. Robert Ker himself was heavily involved in the local border feuds between the two branches of the Kerr family and was responsible for the death of William Kerr of Ferniehurst, an offence for which he was later remitted. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1599 and raised to the peerage as 1st Lord Roxburghe in 1600, accompanying the King to London in 1603. He was created 1st Earl of Roxburghe and 1st Lord Ker of Cessford & Cavertoun in 1616 and was Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland from 1637 to 1649. He was heavily involved in the politics of the day, signing the Covenant in 1638, but remaining a Royalist. In common with most of the Scottish nobles, he backed the Engagement, the Kingís attempts to appease the Scottish Presbyterians in order to gain Scottish military support for the English Civil War, and for which he was deprived of his office Lord Privy Seal in 1649. In 1643, his son and heir having recently died, he obtained a re-grant of the earldom which went into great detail as to the remainder in specific circumstances.

 

2nd Earl of Roxburghe, William Drummond, b.1622, a.1650, d.1675

 

The 1st Earl had no surviving sons. However, he had several female descendants from his two wives. William Drummond was the grandson of the 1st Earl and Margaret Maitland, daughter of William Maitland of Lethington, and a younger son of Jean Ker (b.?, d.1662) and John Drummond, 2nd Earl of Perth. He married his mother's half-niece, also Jean Ker (see below), who was therefore his half-cousin, in 1635, and changed his surname to Ker when his succession was ratified by Parliament in 1648. He became a Privy Councillor in 1661 and received a confirmation from Parliament of the 1st Earl's wishes.

 

3rd Earl of Roxburghe, Robert Ker, b.c.1658, a.1675, d.1682

 

Son of the 2nd Earl and Jean Ker, grand-daughter of the 1st Earl and Jane Drummond (b.1578, d.1643) (sister of John Drummond, 2nd Earl of Perth), and daughter of Henry Ker (b.?, d.1642-1643) and Lady Margaret Hay (b.?, d.1695), daughter of William Hay, 10th Earl of Erroll. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1680, but was lost at sea when the frigate Gloucester struck a sandbank in the Humber estuary.

 

4th Earl of Roxburghe, Robert Ker, b.c.1677, a.1682, d.1696

 

Son of the 3rd Earl and Margaret Hay (b.c.1658, d.1753), daughter of John Hay, 1st Marquess of Tweeddale. He died unmarried.

 

5th Earl of Roxburghe, John Ker, b.?, a.1696, d.1740-1741

 

Younger brother of the 4th Earl. He was a supporter of the Union, and helped bring it about after being made Secretary of State for Scotland in 1704. For this service he was created 1st Duke of Roxburghe, 1st Marquess of Bowmont & Cessford, 1st Earl of Kelso and 1st Viscount Broxmouth in 1707, the last creations in the Scottish Peerage.

 

 

Dukes of Roxburghe (1707)

 

1st Duke of Roxburghe, John Ker, b.?, a.1707, d.1740-1741

 

He served as a Representative Peer over four Parliaments and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1708. He was Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland from 1714 to 1716 and was Secretary of State for Scotland in the British Parliament from 1716 until dismissed from office by Robert Walpole in 1725. He was created a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1707 and was a pall-bearer at the burial of Sir Isaac Newton in 1727. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire from 1715 to 1741 and was one of the Lord's Justice during the King's frequent absences in Germany, and in 1722 was invested as a Knight of the Garter. He arranged for the rebuilding of his family seat at Floors from 1721 to 1726 under the guidance of the renowned architect William Adam.

 

2nd Duke of Roxburghe, Robert Ker, b.c.1709, a.1740-1741, d.1755

 

Son of the 1st Duke and Mary Finch (b.?, d.1718), daughter of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham. He was created 1st Earl Ker of Wakefield and 1st Baron Ker of Wakefield in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1722.

 

3rd Duke of Roxburghe, John Ker, b.1740, a.1755, d.1804

 

Son of the 2nd Duke and Essex Mostyn (b.?, d.1764), daughter of Sir Roger Mostyn, 3rd Baronet Mostyn. He fell in love with Christina Sophia Albertina Mecklenburg-Strelitz, daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but her younger sister Charlotte married King George III, and it was considered unseemly for her older sister to marry someone from a lower rank of the peerage, and so both Ker and Christina remained unmarried. He was an avid collector of books and left thousands of items, some of exceeding rarity, and the selling of these at one time led to the formation of the Roxburghe club, which still exists as an exclusive members only book society. When he died, the titles created for his father in 1722 became extinct, and the entail to the remainder arranged by the 1st Earl asserted itself, giving the succession to other heirs-male of his grand-daughter.

 

 

Lords Bellenden (1661)

 

1st Lord Bellenden, William Bellenden, b.1604-1605, a.1661, d.1671

 

Son of Sir James Bellenden (b.?, d.1606) and Elizabeth Ker, sister of Robert Ker, 1st Earl of Roxburghe. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1661 and raised to the Peerage for his support of the Royals during the civil wars. He held various Treasury posts, and was rewarded as Heritable Usher of the Exchequer in 1663. Shortly before his death he resigned his peerage to his distant cousin on the Ker side.

 

2nd Lord Bellenden, John Ker, b.?, a.1671, d.1707

 

Younger brother of Robert Ker, 3rd Earl of Roxburghe. He changed his surname to Bellenden on gaining the lordship, and also inherited the title of Heritable Usher and Doorkeeper of the Exchequer.

 

3rd Lord Bellenden, John Bellenden, b.1685, a.1707, d.1740-1741

 

Son of the 2nd Lord and Lady Mary Moore (b.?, d.1725-1726), daughter of Henry Moore, 1st Earl of Drogheda. She had previously been married to William Ramsay, 3rd Earl of Dalhousie.

 

4th Lord Bellenden, Ker Bellenden, b.1725, a.1740-1741, d.1753

 

Son of the 3rd Lord and Mary Parnell (b.1702, d.1792).

 

5th Lord Bellenden, John Bellenden, b.1751, a.1753, d.1796

 

Son of the 4th Lord and Elizabeth Brett (b.?, d.1798). He was the last Heritable Usher, as he had no children and was insolvent at his death, and so thistitle was sold on.

 

6th Lord Bellenden, Robert Bellenden, b.1734, a.1796, d.1797

 

Younger brother of the 4th Lord. He also died unmarried.

 

7th Lord Bellenden, William Bellenden-Ker, b.1728, a.1797, d.1805

 

Grandson of the 2nd Lord and son of William Ker (b.c.1702, d.1759) and Jacomina Farmer (b.c.1705, d.?). In 1804 he also succeeded to the title of 4th Duke of Roxburghe.

 

 

Dukes of Roxburghe (1707, continued)

 

4th Duke of Roxburghe, William Bellenden, b.1728, a.1804, d.1805

 

With no male heirs, the dukedom passed to William Bellenden, 7th Lord Bellenden. However, all his children died before him, and the lordship became dormant. The dukedom was now hotly contested by a number of claimants, some with stronger claims than others, and for the next seven years was the subject of constant litigation and countless appeals to the House of Lords, all at vast cost. Claimants included Major-General Walter Ker, who claimed to be heir-male of the 1st Duke, and the Right Honourable William Drummond, who claimed to be heir-male of the 2nd Duke, and James Innes, 6th Baronet Innes of Innes, a descendant of the 1st Earlís youngest daughter. The issue was finally settled in 1812 on the third of these claimants due to the existence of an entail (a piece of common law directing the inheritance of an estate) that in this case allowed for significant rights to any female line.

 

 

Baronets Innes of Innes (1625)

 

1st Baronet Innes, Robert Innes, b.1583-1584, a.1625, d.1658

 

Robert Innes, 20th of that Ilk, was created 1st Baronet Innes of Innes (near Elgin) in 1625 and came from the main line of Clan Innes.

 

2nd Baronet Innes, Robert Innes, b.?, a.1658, d.1689

 

Son of the 1st Baronet and Elizabeth Elphinstone (b.1561, d.1613), daughter of Robert Elphinstone, 3rd Lord Elphinstone.

 

3rd Baronet Innes, James Innes, b.?, a.1689, d.c.1700

 

Son of the 2nd Baronet and Jean Ross, daughter of James Ross, 6th Lord Ross of Halkhead.

 

4th Baronet Innes, Henry Innes, b.?, a.c.1700, d.1721

 

Son of the 3rd Baronet and Margaret Ker, daughter of Henry (or Harry) Ker, Lord Ker, son of Robert Ker, 1st Earl of Roxburghe. It was this connection that allowed the 6th Baronet to succeed as 5th Duke of Roxburghe.

 

5th Baronet Innes, Henry Innes, b.?, a.1721, d.1762

 

Son of the 4th Baronet and Jean Forbes.

 

6th Baronet Innes, James Innes, b.1736, a.1762, d.1823

 

Son of the 5th Baronet and Anne Grant (b.?, d.1771), daughter of Sir James Grant of Grant, 6th Baronet Colquhoun. In 1812, after seven years of protracted litigation, he was installed as 5th Duke of Roxburghe.

 

 

Dukes of Roxburghe (1707, continued)

 

5th Duke of Roxburghe, James Innes-Ker, b.1736, a.1812, d.1823

 

Having already changed his surname to Norcliffe-Innes when his wife inherited estates in Yorkshire, he changed his surname again, this time to Innes-Ker.

 

6th Duke of Roxburghe, James Henry Robert Innes-Ker, b.1816, a.1823, d.1879

 

Son of the 5th Duke and Harriet Charlewood (b.?, d.1805). Educated at Eton and Christ Church Oxford, he was a Representative Peer and was received as a Knight of the Thistle in 1840. In 1837 he was created 1st Earl Innes in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, and was Lord-Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 1873 to 1879.

 

7th Duke of Roxburghe, James Henry Robert Innes-Ker, b.1839, a.1879, d.1892

 

Son of the 6th Duke and Susanna Stephenia Dalbiac (b.1814, d.1895). He was MP for Roxburghshire from 1870 to 1874, and was later Lord-Lieutenant of that county from 1884 to 1892.

 

8th Duke of Roxburghe, Henry John Innes-Ker, b.1876, a.1892, d.1932

 

Son of the 7th Duke and Lady Anne Emily Spencer-Churchill (b.1854, d.1923), daughter of Sir John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough. He served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards, and later with the Household Cavalry in South Africa during the Boer War. In 1901 he was made a Member of the Royal Victoria Order, and in 1902 he was made a Knight of the Thistle, being Chancellor of that Order from 1926 to his death. He fought in the First World War, receiving severe wounds. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Roxburghshire from 1918 to 1932 and was invested as a Lieutenant in the Royal Company of Archers in 1930.

 

9th Duke of Roxburghe, George Victor Robert John Innes-Ker, b.1913, a.1932, d.1974

 

Son of the 8th Duke and Mary Goelet (b.?, d.1937), daughter of an American millionaire.

 

10th Duke of Roxburghe, Guy David Innes-Ker, b.1954, a.1974

 

Son of the 9th Duke and his second wife Margaret Elizabeth McConnel (b.?, d.1983). Educated at Eton, Magdalene College Cambridge and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, where he was awarded the Sword of Honour in 1974, he served as a Lieutenant in the Blues and Royals. As well as being 10th Duke and 14th Earl of Roxburghe, he is also 10th Marquess of Bowmont & Cessford, 10th Earl of Kelso, 10th Viscount Broxmouth, 14th Lord Roxburghe, 14th Lord Ker of Cessford, 5th Earl Innes and 11th Baronet Innes.

 

 

The courtesy title for the heir is Marquess of Bowmont & Cessford.

 

(Last updated: 04/03/2013)

 

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