KEITH, ROBERT (d. 1774), descended from a younger son of the and earl marishal, was British minister in Vienna in 1748, and subsequently held other important diplomatic appointments, being known to his numerous friends, among whom were the leading men of letters of his time, as " Ambassador Keith." His son, Sir Robert Murray Keith (1730-1795), was on Lord George Sackville's staff at the battle of Minden. He became colonel of a regiment (the 87th foot) known as Keith's Highlanders, who won distinction in the continental wars, but were disbanded in 1763; he was then employed in the diplomatic service, in which he achieved considerable success by his honesty, courage, and knowledge of languages. In 1781 he became lieutenant-general; in 1789 he was made a privy councillor.
From the Keith family through the female line was descended George Keith Elphinstone, Baron Keith of Stonehaven, Marishal and afterwards Viscount Keith (?..), whose titles became extinct at the death of his daughter Margaret, Baroness Keith, in 1867.
See Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, edited by J. Bain (4 vols., Edinburgh, 1881-1888); Peter Buchzn, An Account of the Ancient and Noble Family of Keith (Edinburgh, 1828); Memoirs and Correspondence of Sir Robert Murray Keith, edited by Mrs. Gillespie Smyth (London, 1849); John Spalding, Memorialls of the Trubles in Scotland, 1624-1645 (2 vols., Spalding Club Publ. 21, 23, Aberdeen, 1850-185 1 ) ; Sir Robert Douglas, The Peerage of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1813) ; G.E.C., Complete Peerage, vol. iv. (London, 1892). (R. J. M.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)