Earl of Carnwath

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Earldom of Carnwath
Creation date 21 April 1639
Monarch Charles I
Peerage Peerage of Scotland
First holder Robert Dalzell, 2nd Lord Dalzell
Remainder to Heirs male whatsoever bearing the name and Arms of Dalzell
Subsidiary titles Lord Dalzell (1628-1716);
Lord Dalzell and Liberton;
Baronet, of Glenae
Dalzell House, North Lanarkshire, the original seat of the Earls of Carnwath.

The title Earl of Carnwath was created in the Peerage of Scotland, together with the subsidiary title of Lord Dalzell and Liberton, on 21 April 1639 for Robert Dalzell, 2nd Lord Dalzell. His father, Sir Robert Dalzell, had been raised to the Peerage as a Lord of Parliament when he was created Lord Dalzell on 18 September 1628, also in the Peerage of Scotland.[1] The titles refer to Carnwath in Lanarkshire, and Liberton in Edinburgh. The surname of Dalzell is pronounced Listeni/dˈɛl/ dee-EL.[2]

Earldom of Carnwath[edit]

The titles have a remainder to heirs male whatsoever bearing the name and Arms of Dalzell. This means that they can pass to the senior male heir, whoever that is, outside of the line descending from the first holder the title, should that line become extinct. There is not the usual requirement that the heir be of the body of the original holder. The senior heir male is merely required to be of the blood and have the surname and Arms of Dalzell, Succession by this special remainder was first to occur on the death of the fourth Earl in 1702, when the line of the first Earl became extinct. The Earldom was therefore able to pass through collateral succession to Sir Robert Dalzell, 3rd Baronet, the senior heir of the first Lord and a collateral heir of the first Earl being the great-grandson of the first Earl's brother. But for this special remainder, he would have inherited only the Lordship, and the Earldom would have then become extinct.

Family history[edit]

The original seat of the Earls of Carnwath was at Dalzell House, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. This formed part of the larger Carnwath Estate including the barony of Dalzell, which had been held by the family since the fourteenth century. This was to be sold by the third and fourth Earls to help pay the fines of their father and grandfather for their part in supporting the Royalist side during the English Civil War. It was largely to be bought by the Hamilton family, later Barons Hamilton of Dalzell.[3]

In 1643 the first Earl was accused by the Convention of the Scottish Estate of betraying them to the King during the Civil War. He was fined £10,000 and his titles were forfeited and he was sentenced to death by an Act of the Scottish Parliament on 25 February 1645. This Act also provided "that his lawful son Gavin, Lord Dalzell, shall enjoy not only all the estates but the title of Earl as if his father were dead". His death sentence was not to be carried out, nor was the forfeiture of the titles recognised in Royalist circles.[4]

The first Earl went on to fight with King Charles I at the battle of Naseby on 14 June 1645, where the Earl received some blame for the loss of the battle. King Charles, attempting to rally his men, rode forward but as he did so, the Earl seized his bridle and pulled him back, fearing for the King's safety. Carnwath's action was misinterpreted by the royalist soldiers as a signal to move back, leading to a collapse of their position.[5] The military balance then tipped decisively in favour of Parliament.[6]

The first Earl's nephew, Robert Dalzell, Member of Parliament for Dumfries, was created a Baronet, of Glenae, Dumfries on 11 April 1666, in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia.[7] He was the son of the Honourable Sir John Dalzell, himself the younger son of the first Lord. The baronetcy was to pass from father to son, until the third Baronet succeeded as the fifth Earl of Carnwath in 1702 by virtue of the Earldom's special remainder, with the peerage titles then merging with the baronetcy.

The fifth Earl was a Jacobite sympathiser and supported the Earl of Mar in favour of James Stuart, the Old Pretender, in an unsuccessful rebellion in 1715 known as the Fifteen or Lord Mar's Revolt. For his role in the rebellion, the Hanoverian government passed a Writ of Attainder for treason against Lord Carnwath in 1716 as punishment for his part in the rebellion, with the peerages and baronetcy forfeited at that time.

The attainder was reversed by Act of Parliament on 26 May 1826 in favour of his grandson, Lieutenant-General Robert Alexander Dalzell and the titles were restored to him, though apparently not the 1628 Lordship of Dalzell which presumably still remains under forfeiture.[8]

Several of the Earls are noteworthy in their own right. The eighth Earl was reported as being the youngest Earl in Britain in 1873 at the age of fourteen. Both the eleventh and thirteenth Earls were Scottish Representative Peers in the House of Lords.

Lords Dalzell (1628)[edit]

Earls of Carnwath (1639)[edit]

Courtesy title for the heir apparent to the Earldom: Lord Dalzell or Lord Liberton, with the substantive title of Master of Carnwath
But for the attainder, the descent would have included the following three individuals:
  • Alexander Dalzell (1721-1787), eldest son of the fifth Earl
  • Robert Dalzell (1755-1808), eldest son of the above Alexander Dalzell
  • John Dalzell (1795-1814), eldest son of the above Robert Dalzell
Titles restored by Act of Parliament 26 May 1826

Dalzell baronets, of Glenae (1666)[edit]

See above for subsequent holders of the baronetcy

Notes[edit]

  • In some publications, the numbering of the Earls is larger, as they have taken into account the above three people who were in succession but were unable to legally hold the title during the time it was under attainder, and in some earlier publications the first Lord is also incorrectly numbered as the first Earl. The above numbering for each Earl is consistent with the modern numbering used in the printing of the Official Roll of the Baronetage in the London Gazette in 1915.[9]
  • In some earlier publications the family name is misspelt "Dalziel", such as in "Memoirs of the Pretenders and their Adherents" by John Heenage Jesse (1846).[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]