Wednesday, 2 December 2015

1st Duke of Buccleuch

THE DUKES OF BUCCLEUCH AND QUEENSBURY WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN DUMFRIESSHIRE, WITH 254,179 ACRES

SIR WALTER SCOTT (1565-1611), knight,
a desendant of Sir Richard le Scot of Murthoxton (now Murdostoun), in Lanarkshire; a powerful chieftain, and a military commander of renown in the Netherlands under the Prince of Orange, Sir Walter was created Lord Scott of Buccleuch, in 1606.
His son,

WALTER, 2nd Lord, was, in 1619, elevated to the dignity of Earl of Buccleuch. This nobleman died in 1633, and leaving no male issue, his eldest daughter,

MARY, became Countess of Buccleuch. Her ladyship married Walter Scott of Harden, but dying childless, the family honours devolved upon her sister,

ANNE (1651-1732), who wedded the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of CHARLES II.

In 1663, Their Graces were created DUKE AND DUCHESS OF BUCCLEUCH, Earl and Countess of Dalkeith, and Baron and Baroness Whitechester and Eskdale, with remainder to their heirs male.
The English honours of the Duke of Monmouth, Earl of Doncaster, and Baron Tindale, as well as his Scottish dukedom of Buccleuch, were forfeited upon the execution of that unhappy nobleman for high treason.

The peerages enjoyed by the Duchess, however, in her own right (Duchess of Buccleuch), were not affected by the attainder.
The offspring of this union were James, Earl of Dalkeith, and Henry, created Earl of Deloraine, Viscount Hermitage, and Baron Scott, in 1706, which titles expired with the 4th Earl in 1807.

The Duchess married secondly, Charles, 3rd Lord Cornwallis, and at Her Grace's demise, in 1732, was succeeded by her grandson,

FRANCIS, 2nd Duke (1695-1751), son of Lord Dalkeith.

His lordship obtained a restoration of the earldom of Doncaster, and barony of Scott, of Tindale, in 1743.
He wedded, in 1720, Lady Jane, eldest daughter of James, 2nd Duke of Queensbury, by whom he had issue, a son, and three daughters who died unmarried, with Francis, Earl of Dalkeith, who died in the lifetime of his father, but left a son, Henry, and a posthumous daughter by his countess, Caroline, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John, Duke of Argyll.
The Duke of Buccleuch married a second time, Miss Powell; by whom, however, His Grace had no issue.

The Duke died in 1751, and was succeeded by his grandson,

HENRY, 3rd Duke (1746-1812), KG KT;
Seats ~ Bowhill, Selkirk; Boughton House, Kettering; Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire.

The Dukes also owned 17,965 acres of land in Northamptonshire.


DRUMLANRIG CASTLE, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, was built in the late 1600s by William, 1st Duke of Queensbury, on the site of the former 14th & 15th century Douglas stronghold.

The present Castle was created as a mansion in the 17th century, by which time defensive ramparts had given way to comfortable living and large, airy windows.

An earlier, more defensive castle had been built in the middle of the 14th century by the Douglases.

Drumlanrig is built of local pink sandstone on a hill (Drum) at the end of a long ridge overlooking the Nithsdale Hills and the valley of the river Nith.

It was rebuilt with a central courtyard and was in a good enough state to receive JAMES VI on his visit to Scotland in 1617.

Between 1679-91, William, 3rd Earl of Queensberry (later 1st Duke) built a new, large mansion, following the earlier courtyard layout.

Despite almost bankrupting himself as a result of creating his new home, the Duke spent only one night in the building, decided he didn't like it - and returned to Sanquhar Castle.

His son, however, moved in after inheriting the title and estates. Bonnie Prince Charlie spent a night there on his retreat from Derby.


After being allowed to become derelict in the 18th century, Drumlanrig passed to the Duke of Buccleuch, head of the Scott family, in 1810, following a merger of the Douglas and Scott dynasties.

The castle was restored in 1827 and is still the Dumfriesshire home of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry (though his main residence is at Bowhill House in the Scottish Borders).

It is also home to part of the internationally renowned Buccleuch Art Collection. featuring such treasures as Rembrandt’s The Old Woman Reading as well as many other fine paintings, tapestries and objects d’art.

Grand reception rooms, magnificent staircases and ornate period features sit happily beside cosy parlours and the Stableyard, now housing the Stableyard Studios and Stableyard Cafe.

First published in November, 2013.   Buccleuch arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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