John Carmichael, 3rd Earl of Hyndford
John Carmichael, 3rd Earl of Hyndford, styled Viscount of Inglisberry between 1710 and 1737, was a Scottish nobleman and diplomat. He was son of James Carmichael, 2nd Earl of Hyndford and succeeded to the earldom in 1737, he was a Scottish representative peer from 1739 and sheriff of Lanark from 1739, Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1739 and 1740. He was appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 1742 and a Privy Counsellor in 1750, he was Vice Admiral of Scotland from 1764 to 1767. He was envoy to Prussia from 1741–42, to Russia from 1744–49 and to Vienna from 1752-64, he was succeeded by the son of his uncle, William Carmichael of Skirling. The Scottish Peerage "Archival material relating to John Carmichael, 3rd Earl of Hyndford". UK National Archives. "Carmichael, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900
Lady Mary Hamilton
Lady Mary Hamilton or Lady Mary Walker was a Scottish novelist of the 18th century. She was the youngest daughter of Alexander Leslie, 5th Earl of Leven and the mother of James Walker, a Rear admiral in the British Royal Navy, her works included discussions of philosophy and art. Advanced in thinking for the time period, she was a strong advocate of education for women, her most successful novel, Munster Village, centres on a utopian garden city populated with fallen women and females escaping disastrous marriages. Jane Austen may have been influenced by her writings, taking the same names as some of Lady Mary's characters. Lady Mary Leslie was born at Melville House, Scotland on 8 May 1736, the youngest daughter of Alexander Leslie, fifth earl of Leven and Melville, by his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of David Monypenny. On 3 January 1762, Lady Mary was married to Dr. James Walker of Fife, he was a physician based at Edinburgh's prison infirmary and in debt. Though the marriage was unhappy, it was said to have produced ten children.
At least half must have died in infancy. Lady Mary was estranged from Walker, who moved alone to Jamaica in the 1770s to take up a position there as a prison physician. Lady Mary turned to writing to provide for her family, she would note to a friend that "with a family of young children… abandoned by their father," she was forced to "cloath and educate them". She thus needed producing her first novel Letters from the Duchesse de Crui. Lady Mary was introduced by her husband to George Robinson Hamilton and – accounts vary – sometime after Walker's death, she went away with or married Hamilton, a cousin of Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton and owner of a sugar plantation in Jamaica, she took Hamilton's name, she and George settled in Lille, France in 1782, where he is described as a cloth merchant and they as living in great style. Two of her daughters with Walker and Betzy, married the dramatist Victor-Joseph Étienne de Jouy and General Paul Thiébaut. Again, accounts vary: Lady Mary had two daughters with Hamilton, or had at least one surviving daughter with Hamilton, Sophia Saint John Hamilton Alderson.
George Hamilton died on 29 October 1797, an analysis of his will demonstrates both that he and Mary were not married, that James Walker was still alive in 1786. Hamilton made over all of his estate to Lady Mary, with the stipulation that the Jamaica estates were to be run for Mary's benefit by James Hope-Johnstone, 3rd Earl of Hopetoun and Alexander Leslie-Melville, 7th Earl of Leven. After Hamilton's death, Lady Mary lived near Amiens, where she was close to the writer Sir Herbert Croft. Croft was an eccentric English scholar who had compiled dictionaries, the two lived there together as friends, her daughter Bell and son-in-law Jouy visited them often. Croft introduced her to Charles Nodier. Nodier translated Munster Village and helped her write another book in French, La famille du duc de Popoli or The Duc de Popoli. Despite her extensive holdings in Jamaica, little or no income was earned from them and the Croft household was poor. In 1815, she went to Jamaica, as she believed she was being cheated financially out of some of her husband's estates, which had produced £3000 per annum but were now yielding £400.
After her return – Croft having died in April 1816 – she lived with her daughter Sophia Alderson, widowed. Lady Mary died in Brompton, Middlesex near London on 28 February 1821, although some sources such as McMillan specify an 1822 date of death; the discrepancy may arise out of a delay in proving Lady Mary's will, which took until 5 July 1822 to be settled in favour of Sophia and her son Lieutenant-Colonel Leslie Walker. Her son James Walker, a Royal Navy officer, achieved the rank of Rear-Admiral. A final conjecture concerning Lady Mary and her daughter Sophia is made by Wicks, that Sophia may have had an illegitimate daughter in 1805, fathered by Ugo Foscolo, that the child, was adopted and raised by Lady Mary. On Mary's death, Floriana was entrusted to the care of her father, some or all of Sophia's inheritance was directed to Foscolo to provide for Floriana; that Ugo and Sophia had a daughter. If true a corollary is that Lady Mary and family lived for some time in Valenciennes, before moving to Amiens.
Her most successful work, Munster Village, centres on a utopian garden city and features themes of intellectual equality in marriage. Historian Dorothy McMillan writes that "the novel was one of the earlier works of the period to feature an ideal community". Hamilton creates the village from scratch and it is populated by fallen women and females escaping disastrous marriages; the community survives. Christine Rees has termed it "a drama of family relationships" which features the strong "moral sentiment" common of many 18th century writers; however McMillan argues that "the writing is marred by sententiousness and relentless intellectual name-dropping". Contemporary reviews of her books were in the main favourable; the Critical Review, edited by Tobias Smollett, met the publication of the Letters from the Duchesse de Crui with high approbation – "the solidity of her
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, meant "chieftain" a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it was replaced by duke. In medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count. However, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl and in many cases they had no less power than their neighbours who had the title of king. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to "earl/count" in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era. In modern Britain, an earl is a member of the peerage, ranking below a marquess and above a viscount. A feminine form of earl never developed; the term earl has been compared to the name of the Heruli, to runic erilaz. Proto-Norse eril, or the Old Norse jarl, came to signify the rank of a leader.
The Norman-derived equivalent count was not introduced following the Norman conquest of England though countess was and is used for the female title. Geoffrey Hughes writes, "It is a speculation that the Norman French title'Count' was abandoned in England in favour of the Germanic'Earl' because of the uncomfortable phonetic proximity to cunt". In the other languages of Britain and Ireland, the term is translated as: Welsh iarll and Scottish Gaelic iarla, Scots yarl or yerl, Cornish yurl. An earl has the title Earl of when the title originates from a placename, or Earl when the title comes from a surname. In either case, he is referred to as Lord, his wife as Lady. A countess who holds an earldom in her own right uses Lady, but her husband does not have a title; the eldest son of an earl, though not himself a peer, is entitled to use a courtesy title the highest of his father's lesser titles, for instance the eldest son of The Earl Of Wessex is styled as James, Viscount Severn. Younger sons are styled The Honourable, daughters, The Lady.
In the peerage of Scotland, when there are no courtesy titles involved, the heir to an earldom, indeed any level of peerage, is styled Master of, successive sons as younger of. In Anglo-Saxon England, earls had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts, as delegated by the king, they collected fines and taxes and in return received a "third penny", one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the king's armies; some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, East Anglia and Northumbria—names that represented earlier independent kingdoms—were much larger than any shire. Earls functioned as royal governors. Though the title of Earl was nominally equal to the continental duke, unlike them, earls were not de facto rulers in their own right. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional system but modified it to his own liking.
Shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms disappeared. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire and Cheshire but they were associated with only a single shire at most, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, shires became "counties". Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers were small. King Stephen increased the number of earls to reward those loyal to him in his war with his cousin Empress Matilda, he gave some earls the right to hold royal castles or control the sheriff and soon other earls assumed these rights themselves. By the end of his reign, some earls held courts of their own and minted their own coins, against the wishes of the king, it fell to Stephen's successor Henry II to again curtail the power of earls. He took back the control of royal castles and demolished castles that earls had built for themselves.
He did not create new earldoms. No earl was allowed to remain independent of royal control; the English kings had found it dangerous to give additional power to an powerful aristocracy, so sheriffs assumed the governing role. The details of this transition remain obscure, since earls in more peripheral areas, such as the Scottish Marches and Welsh Marches and Cornwall, retained some viceregal powers long after other earls had lost them; the loosening of central authority during the Anarchy complicates any smooth description of the changeover. By the 13th century, earls had a social rank just below the king and princes, but were not more powerful or wealthier than other noblemen; the only way to become an earl was to inherit the title or marry into one—and the king reserved a right to prevent the transfer of the title. By the 14th century, creating an earl included a special public ceremony where the king tied a sword belt around the waist of the new earl, emphasizing the fact that the earl's rights came from him.
Earls still held influence and, as "companions of the king", were regarded as supporters of the king's power. They showed that power for the first time in 1327 when they deposed Edward II, they would do th
Alexander Leslie (British Army officer)
The Honourable Major General Alexander Leslie was a major general in the British Army during the American Revolutionary War. He was the commander of the British troops at the Battle of Harlem Heights, he replaced Cornwallis as commander in the South in 1782. Little is known of his childhood. Leslie was born in England in 1731 to Alexander Leslie, 5th Earl of Leven, was brother to Lady Mary Hamilton, he enlisted in the 3rd Foot Guards of the British Army in 1753. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the 64th Regiment of Foot in 1766. In 1775, before the American War of Independence broke out, he led troops to Salem, Massachusetts looking for contraband weapons, his advance was delayed by a standoff at a bridge, during which the colonists removed the weapons he was looking for. His force was allowed to proceed, but found nothing of consequence, was received with hostility during the expedition. In 1776, Leslie was promoted to brigadier-general, he fought in the Battle of Long Island, the Landing at Kip's Bay, the Battle of White Plains and the Battle of Harlem Heights, the Battle of Princeton and the Siege of Charleston during the American War of Independence.
At Princeton, his nephew, Captain William Leslie was mortally wounded. In 1780, he was sent to the Chesapeake Bay by Sir Henry Clinton in order to "make a powerful diversion in favor by striking at the magazines collecting by the enemy... for supplying the army they were assembling to oppose him." He was made Colonel of the 63rd Regiment of Foot the same year. He transferred in 1788 to be Colonel of the 9th Regiment of Foot to his death. On 27 December 1794, Leslie became deathly ill while traveling from Glasgow and died at the Beechwood House. In 1760, he married Mary Tullidelph, she died in 1761 in childbirth. Their daughter survived. List of British generals "Leslie, Alexander". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900
David Leslie, 3rd Earl of Leven
David Melville Leslie, 3rd Earl of Leven and de jure 2nd Earl of Melville was a Scots aristocrat and soldier. The third son of George Melville, 1st Earl of Melville and his second wife Catherine Leslie-Melville, he shared the Whig political and the Presbyterian religious sympathies of his father. In 1681, with the death of the rival claimant, John Leslie, 1st Duke of Rothes, he was permitted to enter into the Earldom of Leven. In 1683 Leven and his father were suspected of complicity in the Rye House Plot, a Whig conspiracy to assassinate Charles II and his brother James, Duke of York. To escape arrest they fled to the Netherlands where they joined the band of British Protestant exiles at the court of Prince William of Orange. Here Leven was used by William to obtain the support of German princes for his invasion of England in 1688, Leven himself having raised a regiment for that invasion, in the course of which he received the surrender of the town of Plymouth in south Devonshire, he became a Privy Councillor of Scotland in 1689, fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie that year.
He served as Keeper of Edinburgh Castle between 1689 and 1702, again between 1704 and 1712. Leven was a Commissioner for the Pacification of the Highlands from 1689. Leven served as Governor of the Bank of Scotland between 1697 and 1728, in 1702 was promoted to brigadier-general, followed by major-general in 1704, he became Master of the Scottish Ordnance in 1705, Commander-in-Chief, Scotland in 1706. In 1706 he was elected one of the representative peers to sit in the House of Lords after the Acts of Union in 1707 abolished the Parliament of Scotland, he became a lieutenant-general in 1707. He became a Commissioner for the Union in 1707 and was one of the original Representative Peers for Scotland from 1707 until 1710, he was dismissed from all offices in 1712. He did not use the title. Leven's Regiment plaque, Edinburgh Castle
Dictionary of National Biography
The Dictionary of National Biography is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives. Hoping to emulate national biographical collections published elsewhere in Europe, such as the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, in 1882 the publisher George Smith, of Smith, Elder & Co. planned a universal dictionary that would include biographical entries on individuals from world history. He approached Leslie Stephen editor of the Cornhill Magazine, owned by Smith, to become the editor. Stephen persuaded Smith that the work should focus only on subjects from the United Kingdom and its present and former colonies. An early working title was the Biographia Britannica, the name of an earlier eighteenth-century reference work; the first volume of the Dictionary of National Biography appeared on 1 January 1885.
In May 1891 Leslie Stephen resigned and Sidney Lee, Stephen's assistant editor from the beginning of the project, succeeded him as editor. A dedicated team of sub-editors and researchers worked under Stephen and Lee, combining a variety of talents from veteran journalists to young scholars who cut their academic teeth on dictionary articles at a time when postgraduate historical research in British universities was still in its infancy. While much of the dictionary was written in-house, the DNB relied on external contributors, who included several respected writers and scholars of the late nineteenth century. By 1900, more than 700 individuals had contributed to the work. Successive volumes appeared quarterly with complete punctuality until midsummer 1900, when the series closed with volume 63; the year of publication, the editor and the range of names in each volume is given below. Since the scope included only deceased figures, the DNB was soon extended by the issue of three supplementary volumes, covering subjects who had died between 1885 and 1900 or, overlooked in the original alphabetical sequence.
The supplements brought the whole work up to the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901. Corrections were added. After issuing a volume of errata in 1904, the dictionary was reissued with minor revisions in 22 volumes in 1908 and 1909. In the words of the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, the dictionary had "proved of inestimable service in elucidating the private annals of the British", providing not only concise lives of the notable deceased, but additionally lists of sources which were invaluable to researchers in a period when few libraries or collections of manuscripts had published catalogues or indices, the production of indices to periodical literatures was just beginning. Throughout the twentieth century, further volumes were published for those who had died on a decade-by-decade basis, beginning in 1912 with a supplement edited by Lee covering those who died between 1901 and 1911; the dictionary was transferred from its original publishers, Elder & Co. to Oxford University Press in 1917.
Until 1996, Oxford University Press continued to add further supplements featuring articles on subjects who had died during the twentieth century. The supplements published between 1912 and 1996 added about 6,000 lives of people who died in the twentieth century to the 29,120 in the 63 volumes of the original DNB. In 1993 a volume containing missing biographies was published; this had an additional 1,000 lives, selected from over 100,000 suggestions. This did not seek to replace any articles on existing DNB subjects though the original work had been written from a Victorian perspective and had become out of date due to changes in historical assessments and discoveries of new information during the twentieth century; the dictionary was becoming less and less useful as a reference work. In 1966, the University of London published a volume of corrections, cumulated from the Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research. There were various versions of the Concise Dictionary of National Biography, which covered everyone in the main work but with much shorter articles.
The last edition, in three volumes, covered everyone who died before 1986. In the early 1990s Oxford University Press committed itself to overhauling the DNB. Work on what was known until 2001 as the New Dictionary of National Biography, or New DNB, began in 1992 under the editorship of Colin Matthew, professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford. Matthew decided that no subjects from the old dictionary would be excluded, however insignificant the subjects appeared to a late twentieth-century eye. Suggestions for new subjects were solicited through questionnaires placed in libraries and universities and, as the 1990s advanced and assessed by the editor, the 12 external consultant editors and several hundred associate editors and in-house staff. Digitization of the DNB was performed by the Alliance Photosetting Company in India; the new dictionary would cover British history, "broadly defined", up to 31 December 2000. The research project was conceived as a collaborative one, with in-house staff co-ordinating the work of
William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock
William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock, was a Scottish nobleman. William Boyd was educated at Glasgow, he married Lady Anne Livingstone, only daughter and heiress of James, 5th Earl of Linlithgow, by his wife Lady Margaret Hay, sister of Lady Mary Hay, suo jure Countess of Erroll, 2nd daughter of John, 12th Earl of Erroll, on 15 June 1724. The family resided at the Boyd's castle in Kilmarnock until fire destroyed it in 1735, they were an important enough couple to have had their portraits painted by Allan Ramsay c. 1743. Like his father in the Jacobite rising of 1715, William supported the Government side, but in the rebellion of 1745, owing either to a personal affront, to the influence of his wife or to his straitened circumstances he deserted George II and joined Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender. Made a Privy Counsellor to Charles, he was appointed a colonel of guards and subsequently a general, he fought at Falkirk and Culloden, where he was taken prisoner after mistaking a group of Hanoverian soldiers on the battlefield for his own and taken to the Tower of London for trial.
He was found guilty of High Treason. He was sentenced to be hung and quartered, but because of the level of his rank his sentence was commuted to beheading, he was buried in St. Peter's Church within the Tower. Earl Kilmarnock has remained infamous for his support of Bonnie Prince Charlie and for being one of the last three nobles to be executed in Britain. Before his execution, he wrote to a friend from prison about his indebtedness to the shoemakers of Elgin: "Beside my personal debts mentioned in general and particular in the State, there is one for which I am liable in justice, if it is not paid, owing to poor people who gave their work for it by my orders, it was at Elgin in Murray, the Regiment I commanded wanted shoes. I commissioned something about seventy pair of shoes and brogues, which might come to 3 shillngs or three shillings and sixpence each, one with the other; the magistrates divided them among the shoemakers of the town and country, each shoemaker furnished his proportion. I drew on the town, for the price, out of the composition laid on them, but I was afterwards told at Inverness that, it was believed, the composition was otherwise applied, the poor shoemakers not paid.
As these poor people wrought by my orders, it will be a great ease to my heart to think they are not to lose by me, as too many have done in the course of that year, but had I lived I might have made some inquiry after: but now it is impossible, as their hardships in loss of horses and such things, which happeened through my soldiers, are so interwoven with what was done by other people, that it would be hard, if not impossible, to separate them. If you'll write to Mr Innes of Dalkinty at Elgin, he will send you an account of the shoes, if they were paid to the shoemakers or no. On his coffin was a plate with the inscription, William Boyd, Lord Boyd James Hay, 15th Earl of Erroll Captain Hon. Charles Boyd Captain Hon. William Boyd William C. Lowe, ‘Boyd, fourth earl of Kilmarnock ’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.