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SEMPILL, the name of a Scottish family long seated in Renfrewshire. An early member, Sir Thomas Sempill (d. 1488), was killed whilst fighting for James III. at the battle of Sauchieburn, and his son John (d. 1513), who was made a lord of parliament about 1489, fell at Flodden. John's grandson, Robert, 3rd Lord Sempill (c. 1505-1572), assisted the Scottish regent, Mary of Lorraine, in her struggle with the lords of the congregation, and was afterwards one of the partisans of Mary, queen of Scots; about 1566, however, he deserted the queen, against whom he fought at Carberry Hill and at Langside. His grandson, Robert (d. 1611), became the 4th Lord Sempill, and another grandson was Sir James Sempill of Beltrees (<?..).

The title of Lord Sempill descended to Francis, the 8th lord (d. 1684), who was succeeded by his sister Anne (d. 1695), tne wife of Francis Abercromby (d. 1703), who was created a peer for life as Lord Glassford. Their sons, Francis, John and Hugh, who took the surname of Sempill, succeeded in turn to the title. Hugh, 12th Lord Sempill (d. 1746), fought in Spain and in Flanders, and held a command in the English army at Culloden ; in 1747 he was made colonel of the Black Watch. His title descended to Selkirk Sempill, the isth lord (1788-1835), who was succeeded by his sister, Maria Janet (1790-1884). She was succeeded by a cousin, William Forbes (1836-1905), a descendant of the 13th lord, who took the name of Forbes-Sempill; in 1905 his son, John Forbes-Sempill (b. 1863), became the 18th lord.

A certain Robert Sempill, who served James Edward, the Old Pretender, in France, and is described as a captain in Dillon's famous Irish regiment, was created Lord Sempill by this prince after 1723. This circumstance has given rise to a certain amount of confusion between the different holders of the title.

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

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