George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly

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George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Dunbar
Annabella of Scotland
Elizabeth Hay
Noble family Clan Gordon
Clan Seton
Father Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
Mother Elizabeth Crichton
Born before 1441
Died 8 June 1501
Stirling Castle

George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly (died 8 June 1501) was a Scottish nobleman and Chancellor of Scotland from 1498–1501.

Life[edit]

George was the son of Alexander (Seton) Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly and his second wife Elizabeth Crichton, daughter of William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton.[1] George is first mentioned by name in 1441 when the lands which later became part of the Earldom were settled on him and his heirs.[2] George was almost certainly born shortly before this time, c. 1441 as his parents married bef. 18 March 1439–40.[3]

In his contract with Elizabeth Dunbar, Countess of Moray, dated 20 May 1455 he is styled the Master of Huntley.[4] He is addressed as "Sir George Seton, knight", in a royal precept dated 7 March 1456–7 while in a crown charter dated a year later he uses the name of Gordon for the first time indicating he had assumed that surname.[4] As George, Lord Gordon, he was keeper of the castles of Kildrummy, Kindrochat and Inverness.[4] He succeeded his father as Earl of Huntly c. 15 July 1470.[4]

Shortly after becoming Earl of Huntly he was involved with the Earl of Ross in a private war in which the king, James III of Scotland interceded. Ross was charged with treason, but after refusing a summons from the king, was outlawed.[5] One of the expeditions sent against the errant Earl of Ross was led by Alexander and after he captured Dingwall Castle and pressed his army into Lochaber, Ross relented and sought pardon for his actions from the king.[6] In 1479 he was justiciary north of the River Forth, one of his primary duties was the suppression of feuds between Highland clans.[6] In 1497 George Gordon was appointed High Chancellor of Scotland, the honor probably bestowed at the same time his daughter Catherine married Perkin Warbeck, an adventurer in favor with King James IV of Scotland.[7] George was Chancellor until 1500.[8] George, the second earl died at Stirling Castle on 8 June 1501.[3]

Family[edit]

On 20 May 1455, George was contracted to married Elizabeth Dunbar, the daughter of John Dunbar, 4th Earl of Moray, and recent widow of Archibald Douglas, Earl of Moray.[8] The marriage was annulled due to affinity before March 1459–60; the couple had no children.[9]

George secondly married, before March 1459–60, Annabella of Scotland, youngest daughter of king James I of Scotland.[10] After several years of marriage the Earl of Gordon instituted proceedings to have this marriage annulled as well on the grounds that Lady Annabella was related in the third and fourth degrees of consanguinity to his first wife Elizabeth, and the marriage was dissolved on 24 July 1471.[11]

Gordon married thirdly, Elizabeth Hay, sister of Nicholas Hay, 2nd Earl of Erroll, George's brother-in-law and swore a solemn oath to have no 'actual delen' with the lady until after they were married.[12] He married Elizabeth Hay shortly after 18 August 1471.[13]

George Gordon, the second Earl had a number of children but with few exceptions there remains no clear consensus as to which child was of the second marriage and which of the third:

  • Alexander Gordon, 3rd Earl of Huntly (died 21 January 1523/24)[a][11]
  • Adam Gordon, married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John, 8th Earl of Sutherland, and in her right became Earl of Sutherland.[11]
  • William Gordon, married Janet Ogilvy and was the ancestor of the Gordon's of Gight from whom Lord Byron was a descendant.[14]
  • James Gordon, mentioned in an entail in 1498.[14]
  • Janet Gordon, married 1st, Alexander Lindsay, Master of Crawfurd; 2nd, Patrick, Master of Gray (annulled); 3rdly she married Patrick Butler of Gormark; and 4thly James Halkerston of Southwood. She died before February 1559[15]
  • Isabella (d. 1485), wife of William Hay, 3rd Earl of Errol (d. 1507), though some sources list them as having as many as six children.

The Earl obtained an annulment on 24 July 1471 on the basis of Annabella of Scotland's consanguinity with Elizabeth Dunbar. He then married his mistress, Elizabeth Hay, on 12 May 1476; they had children:

  • Lady Catherine Gordon (died October 1537), probably a daughter of Elizabeth Hay, she married 1st, Perkin Warbeck (d. 1499) notorious for claiming to be Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, one of the young princes who disappeared from history in the Tower of London; as his widow she married 2ndly, James Strangeways of Fyfield (d. 1515); a widow again she married Matthew Cradock of Swansea (d. 1531); and as her 4th husband married Christopher Assheton of Fyfield.[16] She was well received at the court of Henry VII who styled her 'the White Rose'.[16] She had no issue by any of her husbands.[16]
  • Eleanor Gordon[17]
  • Agnes Gordon[17]
  • Elizabeth Gordon, in 1481 contracted to marry William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There has been some uncertainty regarding Alexander's mother, whether she was Annabella Stewart or Elizabeth Hay. But the fact that his father married Elizabeth Hay after 18 Aug 1471 [CP, vi, 677 & n. b.] and that Alexander himself was a member of parliament, as well as being one of the Lords of the Articles in 1485, makes it chronologically implausible he could have been Elizabeth Hay's son; meaning most probably his mother was Annabella Stewart. See: SP, IV, 529, 532; CP, VI, 677 n. f.

References[edit]

  1. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its members from the earliest times, Vol. VI, eds. H. A. Doubleday: Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), pp. 676-7
  2. ^ The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 396
  3. ^ a b George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its members from the earliest times, Vol. VI, eds. H. A. Doubleday: Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), p. 676
  4. ^ a b c d The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 526
  5. ^ The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), pp. 526-7
  6. ^ a b The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 401
  7. ^ The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 409
  8. ^ a b The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 527
  9. ^ The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 528
  10. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its members from the earliest times, Vol. VI, eds. H. A. Doubleday: Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), p. 677
  11. ^ a b c The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 529
  12. ^ The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), pp. 528-9
  13. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage; or, a History of the House of Lords and all its members from the earliest times, Vol. VI, eds. H. A. Doubleday: Howard de Walden (London: The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., 1926), pp. 677 & 677 note (b)
  14. ^ a b The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 530
  15. ^ The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. III (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1905), p. 24
  16. ^ a b c The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), pp. 530-1
  17. ^ a b The Scots Peerage, Founded on Wood's Edition of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. James Balfour Paul, Vol. IV (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1907), p. 531
  18. ^ The records of Aboyne MCCXXX-MDCLXXXI, ed. Charles Gordon Huntly (Aberdeen: The New Spalding Club, 1894), p. 402

See also[edit]


Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Alexander Gordon
Earl of Huntly
1470–1501
Succeeded by
Alexander Gordon
Political offices
Preceded by
5th Earl of Angus
Lord Chancellor of Scotland
1498–1501
Succeeded by
Duke of Ross