Marquess of Lothian

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Marquessate of Lothian
Arms: Quarterly: 1st & 4th, Azure, a Sun-in-Splendour proper (Lothian, as a coat of augmentation); 2nd & 3rd, Gules, on a Chevron Argent, three Mullets Gules (Kerr of Jedburgh). Crests: 1st, A Sun-in-Splendour proper (Lothian); 2nd, A Stag's Head cabossed Argent (Kerr of Jedburgh). Supporters: Dexter: An Angel proper, vested Azure, surcoated Vert, winged and crined Or; Sinister: A Unicorn Argent, armed crined and unguled Or, gorged with a Collar Gules, charged with three Mullets Argent.
Creation date23 June 1701
Created byWilliam III & II
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderRobert Kerr, 4th Earl of Lothian
Present holderMichael Kerr, 13th Marquess of Lothian
Heir presumptiveLord Ralph Kerr
Remainder toHeirs male whatsoever
Subsidiary titlesEarl of Lothian
Earl of Ancram (1633)
Earl of Ancram (1701)
Viscount of Briene
Lord Newbattle
Lord Jedburgh
Lord Kerr of Newbattle
Lord Kerr of Nisbet, Langnewtoun, and Dolphinstoun
Baron Ker (Peerage of the United Kingdom)
Seat(s)Ferniehirst Castle
Former seat(s)Newbattle Abbey
Blickling Hall
(Late, but in earnest)

Marquess of Lothian is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, which was created in 1701 for Robert Kerr, 4th Earl of Lothian. The Marquess of Lothian holds the subsidiary titles of Earl of Lothian (created 1606), Earl of Lothian (created again 1631), Earl of Ancram (1633), Earl of Ancram (created again 1701), Viscount of Briene (1701), Lord Newbattle (1591), Lord Jedburgh (1622), Lord Kerr of Newbattle (1631), Lord Kerr of Nisbet, Langnewtoun, and Dolphinstoun (1633), Lord Kerr of Newbattle, Oxnam, Jedburgh, Dolphinstoun and Nisbet (1701), and Baron Ker, of Kersheugh in the County of Roxburgh (1821), all but the last in the Peerage of Scotland. As The Lord Ker in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, previous marquesses sat in the House of Lords before 1963, when Scottish peers first sat in the House of Lords in their own right. The holder of the marquessate is also the Chief of Clan Kerr.

The current Marquess of Lothian, the 13th, is better known as the Conservative politician Michael Ancram. In November 2010, he received a life peerage as Baron Kerr of Monteviot and so became entitled to sit in the House of Lords. He lives at Monteviot House in Roxburghshire. The family previously owned a larger Scottish seat, Newbattle Abbey in Midlothian, which is now a college, and also Blickling Hall in Norfolk, which now belongs to the National Trust.

The heir presumptive to the marquessate is the 13th Marquess' younger brother Lord Ralph Kerr, who owns Ferniehirst Castle in Roxburghshire, which is the family seat that was restored by the 12th Marquess, and Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire.

History of the titles[edit]

Clan Kerr has several branches. The name "Kerr," from the Old Norse "kjrr" meaning "marsh-dweller," arrived in Scotland from Normandy. In Scotland it was rendered Kerr, Ker, Carr and Carre, with a Scottish variant on the west coast taken from the Gaelic "ciar," meaning dusky.[1] According to the lore of the family of Mark Kerr, 1st Earl of Lothian, the name comes from the Norman chiefs, Ralph and Robert, both brothers who came to Roxburgh from Lancashire[1] in the 1300s.[2]

The Kerrs of Ferniehurst claim descent from Ralph, and the Kerrs of Cessford claimed they are descended from Robert.[1] These two man branches of Clan Kerr were often at odds with one another, fighting until they came together in the early 1500s.[1] The Kerrs subsequently also warred with the Scott Clan, until the feud ended when Sir Thomas Kerr of Ferniehurst married Janet Scott. In a 1591 charter, Mark Kerr had his lands at Newbattle and Prestongrange erected into the barony of Newbattle.[1]

1st title[edit]

Mark Kerr was created Lord Newbattle in 1591 and Earl of Lothian in 1606, both with remainder to his heirs male.[3] The title went to the eldest of his four sons, Robert Kerr, 2nd Earl of Lothian.[2] In 1621 both titles were surrendered by the 2nd Earl and regranted with a special remainder to his daughters, the eldest of whom, Lady Anne Kerr, succeeded to both titles on his death in 1624.[4] Her husband, Sir William Kerr (eldest son of Sir Robert Kerr, later 1st Earl of Ancram) was created Lord Kerr of Newbattle and Earl of Lothian in 1631. On her death in 1667 their eldest son became 4th Earl of Lothian (though he was not recognised as such) and on her husband's death in 1675 also 2nd Earl of Lothian.

2nd title as Marquess[edit]

By this point Sir Robert Kerr, father of the 1st Earl of the 2nd creation, had been created Lord Kerr of Nisbet, Langnewtoun and Dolphinstoun and Earl of Ancram, and the titles had been inherited by the 4th and 2nd Earl of Lothian's uncle, Charles Kerr, on whose death in 1690 he became 3rd Earl of Ancram.

He was then created Lord Ker of Newbattle, Oxnam, Jedburgh, Dolphinstoun and Nisbet, Viscount of Briene, Earl of Ancram and Marquess of Lothian in 1701.

The 2nd Marquess succeeded his cousin as Lord Jedburgh before succeeding to the Marquessate, and the 6th Marquess was created Baron Ker, of Kersheugh in the County of Roxburgh, in 1821, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Earls of Lothian; First creation (1606)[edit]

Earls of Lothian; Second creation (1631)[edit]

Lords Jedburgh (1621/2)[edit]

  • Andrew Ker, 1st Lord Jedburgh (died 1633)
  • Alexander Kirkaldy later Ker,[5] de jure 2nd Lord Jedburgh (c. 1590 – c 1650)
  • John Ker, de jure 3rd Lord Jedburgh (died before 1670)
  • Robert Ker, 4th Lord Jedburgh (died 1692)
  • William Ker, 5th Lord Jedburgh (1661-1722); later 2nd Marquess of Lothian (title held by the Marquesses of Lothian from 1703- see below)

Earls of Ancram (1633)[edit]

Marquesses of Lothian (1701)[edit]

The heir presumptive is the present holder's brother Lord Ralph William Francis Joseph Kerr (born 1957).
The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son John Walter Donald Peter Kerr (born 1988).

Family tree[edit]

Kerr (Ker) family tree: Marquesses of Lothian (1701)
Earls of Lothian (1606)
Earls of Lothian (1631)
Earls of Ancram (1633)
Lords Jedburgh (1621)
? Douglas
First Wife
Andrew Kerr
Margaret Tweedle
Second Wife
Walter Kerr
of Cessford
(died 1501)
Thomas Ker,
1st of Fiernhirst
(died 1484)
Sir Robert Kerr
the Younger
(died 1500)
Sir Andrew Ker,
of Fiernhirst
(died 1545)
Sir Andrew Kerr
of Cessford
(died 1526) [n 1]
Robert Ker,
(died 1588)
John Ker
(died 1562)
Mark Kerr
(died 1584)
William Kerr
of Ancram
(died 1590)
Andrew Ker,
Created 1621
1st Lord

(died c. 1633)
William KerSir James Ker
of Craling
(died 1645)
Mark Ker,
Created 1606
1st Earl
of Lothian

(First Wife)
Robert Kerr,
Created 1633
1st Earl
of Ancram

(1578-1654)[n 2]
Anne Portman
(Second Wife)
Alexander Ker,
de jure
2nd Lord

(c. 1598-c. 1650)
Robert Ker,
4th Lord

(died c. 1692)
Robert Kerr,
2nd Earl
of Lothian

(died 1624)
Charles Kerr,
2nd Earl
of Ancram

(died c. 1690)
John Ker
de jure
3rd Lord

(died c. 1670)
Anne Kerr,
de jure
3rd Countess
of Lothian

(died 1677)[n 3]
William Kerr
Created 1631
1st Earl
of Lothian

(c. 1605 - 1675)
Robert Kerr,
2nd Earl of Lothian
3rd Earl of Ancram

Created 1701
1st Marquess
of Lothian

William Kerr,
5th Lord Jedburgh
2nd Marquess
of Lothian

William Kerr,
3rd Marquess
of Lothian

William Kerr
4th Marquess
of Lothian

William Kerr
5th Marquess
of Lothian

William Kerr
6th Marquess
of Lothian

John Kerr
7th Marquess
of Lothian

William Schomberg Kerr,
8th Marquess
of Lothian

Schomberg Kerr
9th Marquess
of Lothian

Ralph Drury Kerr
Walter Talbot Kerr

Walter William Schomberg Kerr
Earl of Ancram
Robert Schomberg Kerr
10th Marquess
of Lothian

Philip Henry Kerr,
11th Marquess
of Lothian

David Anselm Kerr
Killed in Action, WWI
Ralph Francis Kerr
Andrew William Kerr
Peter Francis Walter Kerr
12th Marquess
of Lothian

Michael Andrew Foster Jude Kerr,
13th Marquess
of Lothian

(born 1945)
Ralph William Francis Joseph Kerr,

Master of Lothian
(born 1957)
Heir Presumptive
John Walter Donald Peter Kerr
(born 1988)
Heir Apparent to Heir Presumptive
Frederick James Michael Ralph Kerr
(born 1989)
Francis Andrew William George Kerr
(born 1991)
Hugh Alexander Thomas Joseph Kerr
(born 1999)
  1. ^ The 1st Earl of Roxburghe is also a descendant (great-grandson) of Sir Andrew Kerr of Cessford through his first son, Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford (brother of Mark Kerr).
  2. ^ The creation of the Earldom of Ancram had a special remainder where the title went first to the heirs male of Robert Kerr by his second wife, Lady Anne Portman (nee Stanley), and then to his heirs male general. As a result, his eldest son of his second marriage succeeded to the title upon his death. When the male line of the 1st Earl's second marriage became extinct, the title reverted to the male line of the 1st Earl's first marriage and the 2nd Earl's nephew, later the 1st Marquess of Lothian, succeeded to the title.
  3. ^ There has been some confusion as to whether Anne Kerr actually acceded to the title or whether it reverted to the Crown. The estates of her father did pass to her as she did fulfill the terms of her father's will that she marry a member of the clan Kerr. Her husband was granted a new title of Earl of Lothian. Their son did assume the 1631 creation of the Lothian Earldom, but he never did assume the 1601 creation and titles held by the current Marquess of Lothian do not include the 1601 creation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Scottish clan profile: Kerr". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the". 1839. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage". Google Books. 1914. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lothian, Earls and Marquesses of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 18.
  5. ^ Alexander Ker's father, William Kirkaldy (formerly Ker), assumed the surname of Kirkaldy upon assuming the Grange estates of the Kirkaldy family. Alexander Ker re-assumed his father's original surname of Ker upon relinquishing those Grange estates back to the heir male of the Kirkaldy family

External links[edit]