Earl of Stirling

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William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling.

Earl of Stirling was a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created on 14 June 1633 for William Alexander, 1st Viscount of Stirling. He had already been created a Baronet, of Menstrie in the County of Clackmannan, in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia on 12 July 1625, Lord Alexander of Tullibody and Viscount of Stirling on 4 September 1630 and was made Lord Alexander of Tullibody and Viscount of Canada at the same time as he was granted the earldom. The other peerage titles were also in the Peerage of Scotland. The titles became dormant upon the death of the fifth Earl in 1739, although one William Alexander of New York, known to history as Major General Lord Stirling of the Continental Army, years before the American Revolutionary War pursued a claim to succeed to the dormant earldom. The claim from senior male descent from the first Earl's grandfather was ultimately turned down by the House of Lords - although he was allowed to vote in the election of the Scottish representative peers.

There was an attempt to assert that there was a new grant of the title of Earl of Dovan in 1637 connected with the title of Earl of Stirling, and a new destination of descent for the title of Earl of Stirling, but the court case against Alexander Humphrys-Alexander (1783–1859) filed in 1839 ruled that the documents in support of such case were forgeries. [1]

The case and the associated forgery was one inspiration for the very popular three-volume novel Ten Thousand a Year, by Samuel Warren. Warren also wrote directly of the case in his "Miscellanies", titling the article "The Romance of Forgery". There Warren stated that the Earl of Stirling had the right to create Nova Scotia baronets.

Earls of Stirling (1633)[edit]

  • William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling (1576–1640)
  • William Alexander, 2nd Earl of Stirling (d. 1640)
  • Henry Alexander, 3rd Earl of Stirling (d. 1644)
  • Henry Alexander, 4th Earl of Stirling (d. 1691)
  • Henry Alexander, 5th Earl of Stirling (1664–1739)

See also[edit]

  • Province of New York: in 1664 the Duke of York, James II of England, purchased Long Island and other lands granted Stirling in 1635.


  1. ^ Macgregor, Simon (Stenographer) and Turnbull, William (editor) (1839). "The Stirling Peerage: Trial of Alexander Humphrys". William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh. Retrieved February 24, 2012.