David Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan

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The 11th Earl of Buchan.

David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan (12 June 1742 – 19 April 1829), styled Lord Cardross between 1747 and 1767, was a Scottish antiquarian.

Background and education[edit]

Erskine was the second but eldest surviving son of Henry Erskine, 10th Earl of Buchan, by Agnes, daughter of Sir James Steuart, 7th Baronet. He was the brother of Henry Erskine and Lord Erskine. He studied at St. Andrews University and Edinburgh University.

Career[edit]

His pertinacity helped in effecting a change in the method of electing Scottish representative peers, and in 1780 he succeeded in founding the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. His correspondents included Horace Walpole, and he produced an Essay on the Lives of Fletcher of Saltoun and the Poet Thomson (1792) and other writings. He died at his residence at Dryburgh (near Dryburgh Abbey, in the Scottish Borders) in April 1829, leaving no legitimate children, and the earldom passed to his nephew Henry.

He also commissioned a cable-stayed bridge over the River Tweed at Dryburgh. He opened this bridge on 1 August 1817 but it collapsed within months. A replacement was built after a redesign, but this too collapsed in 1838. A more permanent bridge did not arrive until 1872, when the suspension system was used instead.

There is an interesting story concerning the Earl in which the writer George Dyer brought him to meet Charles Lamb at his flat in Mitre Court Buildings. Charles Lamb was not home and his sister Mary Lamb was deeply flustered at having to greet an Earl unannounced in her household.

References[edit]

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Masonic offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Crawford
Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of Scotland

1782–1784
Succeeded by
The Earl of Aberdeen
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Henry Erskine
Earl of Buchan Succeeded by
Henry Erskine