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Posted on 01/20/2014

Photo taken on November  2, 2012

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earls of sutherland

earls of sutherland
Holyrood Abbey and Palace, Edinburgh, Scotland

On the North Wall of the North Aisle

Main monument to George, 15th Earl of Sutherland, with the coronets on the columns representing the houses he has descended from - Gordon, Lennox, Elphinstone, Perth and Eglintoune.

"To the memory of the most illustrious Lord George Earl of Sutherland, Lord Strathnavar and heritable Sheriff of said lands, and lord of the regality thereof; one of the Keepers of the Great Seal under the most renowned Prince, King William, one of the Lords of the Privy Council, and the 19th Earl, descended in a right line from Allan, Thane of Sutherland, whom Macbeth in the rage of his usurping tyranny, about the year of Christ 1057, made away with far endeavouring to restorm the kingdom to Malcolm III, lawful heir to the crown. His mournful widow, Jean Wemyess, eldest daughter of David Earl of Wemyess, erected this monument of everlasting fame.
To the defunct Earl she she brought forth John, now Earl of Sutherland, and Anne, Viscountess of Arbuthnot and to her former husband, Archibald Earl of Angus, eldest son of the Marquis of Douglas, she brought forth Archibald, Earl of Forfar and Margaret, given in marriage to the Viscount of Kingstoun. Five other children of the said Lady Dowager died in their nonage.
The Earl himself was born in his own castle of Durnoch, 2nd November 1633 and died at Edinburgh 4th March 1703.


Here are also deposited the remains of William. 21st Earl of Sutherland and his amiable Countess Mary, daughter of William Maxwell esq of Preston, Kirkcudbright. His Lordship died at Bath, June 16th 1766 just after he had completed his 31st year, and the Countess, June 1st 1766 in her 26th year, 16 days before the Earl fell a victim to his disorder.
They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided.
The bodies of this illustrious and affectionate pair were brought to Scotland and interred in one grave in Holyrood Abbey 9th August 1796."

George Gordon, 15th earl of Sutherland was born 2 November 1633. On the 11 August 1659 he married Lady Jean Wemyess, the widow of Lord Archibald Douglas, earl of Angus. She was born 19 June 1629 and died 5 January 1714.
Gordon died 4 March 1702. They had 4 children

William Gordon, 18th Earl of Sutherland was born 28 May 1735 to William Gordon, 17th Earl of Sutherland and Lady Elizabeth Wemyss.
On 14th April 1761 he married Mary Maxwell, the daughter of William Maxwell of Preston and Elizabeth Hairstones.
They had two daughters, and it was Catherine (born 24 May 1764) who died at Dunrobin Castle on the 3rd January 1766. So afflicted with grief had William and Mary been that the decision was taken to go to Bath to help them recover.
However, whilst there William contracted a fever, and Mary devoted herself to his care. She sat by his side for 21 days and nights refusing sleep and finally feel ill herself. Thus she died of fever and exhaustion 16 days before her husband. Their bodies were then brought back to Scotland.
Their second, and only surviving daughter, Elizabeth was a year old when her parents died. Male branches of the family attempted to steal her inheritance, so much so that the matter was finally referred to the House of Lords who found in her favour, thus becoming the Countess of Sutherland in her own right.