James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk

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James, Earl of Southesk
His seal

James Carnegie, 9th Earl of Southesk KT (16 November 1827 – 21 February 1905) was a Scottish nobleman.

Born in Edinburgh, Southesk was the son of Sir James Carnegie, 5th Baronet and Charlotte Lysons, daughter of the Rev'd Daniel Lysons. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and in 1845 joined the 92nd Regiment of Foot, before transferring to the Grenadier Guards the next year, with whom he served for three years. In 1849 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, a position he continued to hold until 1856, when he sold his lands in Kincardineshire.

Bust of the Earl, by William Grant Stevenson

Through his great-great-great grandfather, who was the fourth son of David Carnegie, 1st Earl of Southesk, James was the heir to the earldom of Southesk and the lordship of Carnegie. He managed to obtain a reversal of his kinsman's attainder by Act of Parliament in 1855, and became the ninth Earl of Southesk and Lord Carnegie of Leuchars and Kinnaird. In 1869 he was made a Knight of the Thistle and created Baron Balinhard, of Farnell in the County of Forfar, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. This title gave him and the later earls an automatic seat in the House of Lords.

In 1849 Southesk married Lady Catherine Hamilton Noel (1829–1855), daughter of Charles, Earl of Gainsborough. They had one son and three daughters, before Catherine's death in 1855 at the age of twenty-six. In 1860 Southesk married Lady Susan Catherine Mary Murray (1837–1915), eldest daughter of Alexander, Earl of Dunmore. They had three sons and four daughters. Lord Southesk died in February 1905, aged seventy-seven. He was succeeded by his son from his first marriage, Charles Noel Carnegie.

Southesk was the author of several books of poetry, including Jonas Fisher in which a young missionary describes his adventures among the London poor in simple direct verse. It was published anonymously, and misattributed by one critic to another Scottish author of the time, Robert Buchanan. Buchanan successfully sued for libel.[citation needed]

In 1859, following the death of his wife, the Earl was advised that to improve his health he should travel to a part of the world where he could live an open-air life and hunt. He then embarked on a visit to western Canada. For this expedition he employed a number of Metis guides and scouts; James McKay, John McKay, George Klyne, John "Piscan" Munroe, Baptiste La Grace, James "Little Dog" Short, Antoine Blandion, Pierre Desnomme, Thomas Arinwakena, and Duncan Robertson.[1] These men were also buffalo hunters. During this trip which took him west to Fort Edmonton and into the Rocky Mountains he commissioned and collected several Métis, Cree, Nakoda, Blood and Blackfoot artifacts which were recently auctioned at Sotheby's.[2][3]


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Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Burnett
Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Kintore
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
James Carnegie
under attainder
Earl of Southesk
Succeeded by
Charles Carnegie
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Balinhard
Succeeded by
Charles Carnegie
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
James Carnegie
(of Pittarrow, Kincardineshire)
Succeeded by
Charles Carnegie