Sutherland was one of the original mormaerdoms of Scotland and covered huge areas of the north of the mainland. It was for many years under the Norse rule of the jarls of Orkney but was gradually won back to Scotland during the time of King David I. He backed Harald Maddadsson, son of Matad, Mormaer of Atholl, and a distant relative, against rival Norwegian claimants for the earldom of Orkney. This was enough to weaken the Viking hold over the southern extensions of their domains, c.1140-1150. When the new Scottish earldom of Sutherland was created by King Alexander II, it was handed to members of a local family with the surname de Moravia, descended from Freskin de Moravia, a Flemish nobleman who had been handed the lands of Duffus by David after helping to drive the Norsemen out of the area.


Earls of Sutherland (c.1230)


1st Earl of Sutherland, William de Moravia, b.?, a.c.1230, d.1284


Great-grandson of Freskin de Moravia.


2nd Earl of Sutherland, William de Moravia, b.?, a.1284, d.1307


Son of the 1st Earl.


3rd Earl of Sutherland, William de Moravia, b.?, a.1307, d.1330


Son of the 2nd Earl.


4th Earl of Sutherland, Kenneth de Moravia, b.?, a.1330, d.1333


Younger brother of the 3rd Earl. He was killed at the Battle of Halidon Hill.


5th Earl of Sutherland, William de Moravia, b.?, a.1333, d.1370


Son of the 4th Earl and Mary, daughter of Donald, 7th Earl of Mar. His first wife was Margaret Bruce, daughter of King Robert the Bruce and Elizabeth de Burgh, and at one stage their son John de Moravia (b.c.1346, d.1361) was heir to the throne. However, he died of the plague.


6th Earl of Sutherland, Robert de Moravia, b.?, a.1370, d.?1427


Son of the 5th Earl and Joan Menteith (b.?, d.a.1367), a grand-daughter of William Menteith, Earl of Menteith.


7th Earl of Sutherland, John de Moravia, b.b. 1408, a.1427, d.1460


Son of the 6th Earl and Margaret Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan.


8th Earl of Sutherland, John de Moravia, b.?, a.1460, d.1508


Son of the 7th Earl and Margaret Baillie (b.?, d.c.1510), daughter of Sir William Baillie of Lamington.


9th Earl of Sutherland, John de Moravia, b.?, a.1508, d.1514


Son of the 8th Earl and Margaret Macdonald, daughter of Alexander Macdonald, 10th Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles.


10th Earl (Countess) of Sutherland, Elizabeth de Moravia, b.?, a.1514, d.1535


Sister of the 9th Earl. Her husband Adam Gordon, Lord of Aboyne, had made several attempts to have the 8th and 9th Earls removed from power owing to insanity, and eventually got his way when his wife succeeded to the earldom.


11th Earl of Sutherland, John Gordon, b.c.1526, a.1535, d.1567


Grandson of the 10th Countess and Adam Gordon (b.?, d.1537-1538), son of Sir George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly, and son of Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland (b.c.1501, d.1529-1530) and Lady Janet Stewart (b.1500, d.?), daughter of John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Atholl.


12th Earl of Sutherland, Alexander Gordon, b.c.1552, a.1567, d.1594


Son of the 11th Earl and Lady Elizabeth Stuart(b.?, d.1564), daughter of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Lennox (and who had previously been married to King James V.


13th Earl of Sutherland, John Gordon, b.1576, a.1594, d.1615


Son of the 12th Earl and Lady Jean Gordon (b.?, d.1629), daughter of George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly.


14th Earl of Sutherland, John Gordon, b.1609, a.1615, d.1679


Son of the 13th Earl and Agnes Elphinstone (b.?, d.1617), daughter of Alexander Elphinstone, 4th Lord Elphinstone.


15th Earl of Sutherland, George Gordon, b.1633, a.1679, d.1703


Son of the 14th Earl and Lady Jean Drummond (b.1609, d.1637), daughter of James Drummond, 1st Earl of Perth.


16th Earl of Sutherland, John Gordon, b.1661, a.1703, d.1733


Son of the 15th Earl and Jean Wemyss (b.?, d.1715), daughter of David Wemyss, 2nd Earl of Wemyss. He was a Representative Peer and Lord-Lieutenant of all eight of the north Scottish counties. He changed his surname to Sutherland and was recognised as Chief of Clan Sutherland by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.


17th Earl of Sutherland, William Sutherland, b.1708, a.1733, d.1750


Grandson of the 16th Earl and Helen Cochrane, daughter of William Cochrane, Lord Cochrane (son of Sir William Cochrane, 1st Earl of Dundonald), and son of William Gordon, Lord Strathnaver (b.b.1683, d.1720) and Catherine Morison (b.?, d.1765).


18th Earl of Sutherland, William Sutherland, b.1735, a.1750, d.1766


Son of the 17th Earl and Lady Elizabeth Wemyss (b.?, d.1747), daughter of David Wemyss, 4th Earl of Wemyss.


19th Earl (Countess) of Sutherland, Elizabeth Sutherland, b.1765, a.1766, d.1839


Daughter of the 18th Earl and Mary Maxwell (b.?, d.1766). On the death of the 18th Earl, a dispute arose as to the succession, with Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun and George Sutherland of Forse challenging the Lady Elizabethís rights. However, the House of Lords ruled in her favour. She married George Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Marquess of Stafford (b.1758, d.1833) in 1785, shortly before he succeeded his own father, and in 1833 the husband and wife were both raised to the level of duke. She is chiefly remembered as being a party to the Highland Clearances, burning out tenants from her lands.



Dukes of Sutherland (1833)


1st Duke (Duchess) of Sutherland, Elizabeth Leveson-Gower, as above


Her husband was created 1st Duke of Sutherland independently.


2nd Duke of Sutherland, George Granville Sutherland Leveson-Gower, b.1786, a.1839, d.1861


Son of the 1st Duke and Duchess. He converted Dunrobin from a castle to a large stately home. His younger brother, Francis Leveson-Gower (b.1800, d.1857), became the 1st Earl of Ellesmere in the Peerage of the United Kingdom and changed his surname to Egerton, his motherís maiden name. His descendants would eventually succeed to the dukedom.


3rd Duke of Sutherland, George Granville William Sutherland Leveson-Gower, b.1828, a.1861, d.1892


Son of the 2nd Duke and Lady Harriet Elizabeth Georgiana Howard (b.1806, d.1868), daughter of Sir George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle.


4th Duke of Sutherland, Cromartie Sutherland Leveson-Gower, b.1851, a.1892, d.1913


Oldest surviving son of the 3rd Duke and Anne Hay-Mackenzie, Countess of Cromartie. His younger brother Francis Mackenzie Sutherland Leveson-Gower (b.1852, d.1893) succeeded to his motherís earldom.


5th Duke of Sutherland, George Granville Sutherland Leveson-Gower, b.1888, a.1913, d.1963


Son of the 4th Duke and Lady Millicent Fanny St Clair-Erskine (b.1867, d.1955), daughter of Robert Francis St Clair-Erskine, 4th Earl of Rosslyn. He married twice but had no children. The dukedom passed to the line of the earls of Ellesmere. However, the earldom, under different rules, remained with the Leveson-Gowers, as indicated below. Sutherland served as a Minister of State in several Conservative governments and was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1929 and a Privy Counsellor in 1936. He was the first Chairman of the British Film Institute from 1933 to 1936 and continued as its patron until his death.


6th Duke of Sutherland, John Sutherland Egerton, b.1915, a.1963, d.2000


The 1st Dukeís youngest son, Francis Leveson-Gower (b.1800, d.1857) became 1st Earl of Ellesmere as has been mentioned, and changed his surname to Egerton. He married Harriet Catherine Greville (b.?, d.1866), who was a grand-daughter of William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland. Their son George Granville Francis Egerton, 2nd Earl of Ellesmere (b.1823, d.1862) married Lady Mary Louisa Campbell (b.c.1825, d.1916), daughter of John Frederick Campbell, 1st Earl Cawdor of Castlemartin. Their son Francis Charles Granville Egerton, 3rd Earl of Ellesmere (b.1847, d.1914) married Lady Katherine Louisa Phipps (b.1850, d.1926), daughter of George Augustus Constantine Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby. Their son John Francis Granville Scrope Egerton, 4th Earl of Ellesmere (b.1872, d.1944) married Lady Violet Lambton (b.1880, d.?), daughter of Frederick William Lambton, 4th Earl of Durham, and their son succeeded to the dukedom. Educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge, he was part of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940 and was held as a prisoner-of-war for four years. He succeeded to his fatherís earldom of Ellesmere in 1944 on his return and in 1963 became 6th Duke of Sutherland, although the Sutherland estates and family seat of Dunrobin passed to the Countess of Sutherland. He married twice but had no children and the dukedom passed to a cousin.


7th Duke of Sutherland, Francis Ronald Egerton, b.1940, a.2000


Great-grandson of the 3rd Earl of Ellesmere, grandson of Major Francis William George Egerton (b.1874, d.1948) and Hilda Margaret Curteis (b.?, d.1958) and son of Cyril Reginald Egerton (b.1905, d.?) and Mary Campbell (b.?, d.1949). He is 7th Duke of Sutherland, 8th Marquess of Stafford and 6th Earl of Ellesmere.



The courtesy title for the heir is Marquess of Stafford.



Earls of Sutherland (c.1230, continued)


24th Earl (Countess) of Sutherland, Elizabeth Millicent Leveson-Gower, b.1921, a.1963


Grand-daughter of the 4th Duke, and daughter of Alastair St Clair Leveson-Gower (b.1890, d.1921) and Elizabeth Helene Gardner Dumarest (b.1892, d.1931) of New York City. She is also 24th Lord Strathnaver, and is Chief of Clan Sutherland.



The courtesy title for the heir is Lord Strathnaver.


(Last updated: 16/10/2009)