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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 285
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.BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 203 NO. LXXXIV. THE EARL OF ERROL AND THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD HADDO. THE first of these “Noble Friends” (to the left), is GEORGE, fourteenth EARL of ERROL. He was born at Slanes Castle’-the principal seat of the family-in Aberdeenahire, in 1767. His father, James Lord Boyd, was the eldest son of Lord Kilmarnock, who suffered in 1746 on account of the Rebellion. Lord Boyd held a commission in the 21st Regiment of Foot at the time, and fought against the young Chevalier, whose cause his father had espoused. In 1758, on the death of his grand-aunt, he succeeded to the title as thirteenth Earl of Errol. The hereditary honour of Lord High Constable of Scotland was conferred by King Robert Bruce upon his lordship’s ancestor in 13 15. GEORGEt,h e subject of this sketch, succeeded to the title, while yet at Harrow School, by the death of his father in 1778. He purchased a cornetcy in the 1stDragoons in 1780, being then only thirteen years of age. He afterwards held commissions in various regiments-was Major of the 78th Foot in 1793, and latterly Captain of a company in the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards. At the general election in 1796, his lordship was elected one of the sixteen representatives of the Scottish Peerage. On this occasion the Earl of Lauderdale entered a protest against the votes of British Peers created since the Union ; and also protested against the return of the Earl of Errol. In pursuance of this protest, Lauderdale presented a petition to the House of Lords against Errol, on the ground that, not being paternally descended from the High Constable, he did not hold his title consistently with the original charter. The petition was referred to a committee of privileges, and counseI were heard on both sides. The case was finally determined on the 19th of May 1797. The Lord Chancellor spoke at great length on the subject : He stated that the petition laid its principal stress on the Earl of Errol not being a male descendant, to which the original charter no doubt was limited; but it should be recollected that it was no uncommon thiig formerly for the nobility to surrender their honours to the King, for the purpose of having them renewed, with some additional privileges, or relieved of some restrictions. This had been the case with Gilbert, tenth Earl of Errol. He surrendered his honours to the King in 1660, and had his charter renewed, which, instead of confirming it to male The old CastIe of Slanes, formerly the principal residence of the Earls of Em& waa deatroyed as far back aa the early part of the reign of Jam= VI. The greater part of the lands belonging to the barony are now in the possession of Colonel John Gordon of Clnny.
Volume 8 Page 286
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