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Lothian, Earls And Marquesses Of

LOTHIAN, EARLS AND MARQUESSES OF: MARK KERR, 1st earl of Lothian (d. 1609), was the eldest son of Mark Kerr (d. 1584), abbot, and then commendator, of Newbattle, or Newbottle, and was a member of the famous border family of Ker of Cessford. The earls and dukes of Roxburghe, who are also descended from the Kers of Cessford, have adopted the spelling Ker, while the earls and marquesses of Lothian have taken the form Kerr. Like his father, the abbot of Newbattle, Mark Kerr was an extraordinary lord of session under the Scottish king James VI.; he became Lord Newbattle in 1587 and was created earl of Lothian in 1606. He was master of inquests from 1577 to 1606, and he died on the 8th of April 1609, having had, as report says, thirty-one children by his wife, Margaret (d. 1617), daughter of John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries. His son Robert, the 2nd earl, died without sons in July 1624. He had, in 1621, obtained a charter from the king enabling his daughter Anne to succeed to his estates provided that she married a member of the family of Ker. Consequently in 1631 she married William Ker, son of Robert, 1st earl of Ancrum (1578-1654), a member of the family of Ker of Ferniehurst, whose father, William Ker, had been killed in 1590 by Robert Ker, afterwards 1st earl of Roxburghe. Robert was in attendance upon Charles I. both before and after he came to the throne, and was created earl of Ancrum in 1633. He was a writer and a man of culture, and among his friends were the poet Donne and Drummond of Hawthornden. His elder son William was created earl of Lothian in 1631, the year of his marriage with Anne Kerr, and Sir William Kerr of Blackhope, a brother of the 2nd earl, who had taken the title of earl of Lothian in 1624, was forbidden to use it (see Correspondence of Sir Robert Ker, earl of Ancrum, and his son William, third earl of Lothian, 1875).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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