William Gordon, 6th Viscount of Kenmure
William Gordon was the only son of Alexander Gordon, 5th Viscount of Kenmure and succeeded his father on his death in 1698, but was not able to inherit his family's property until 1700, because of a protracted lawsuit. Not initially an active supporter of the exiled Stuarts, Lord Kenmure became the leader of the Lowlands nobles, who opposed the Act of Union in 1701.
Absenting himself from parliament, early in Queen Anne's reign, the sixth Viscount Kenmure was deeply involved in plotting for a Jacobite rising and French invasion. Late in 1705, he was chosen by Lowlands Jacobites as a delegate to St Germain, although he did not travel there. Early in 1706 he claimed that disaffection was driving the Galloway Cameronians into Jacobitism. In 1707 he was one of the Jacobite peers for whose conduct David Murray, fifth Viscount Stormont, answered to Colonel Nathaniel Hooke, envoy from St Germain. In the same year, James Francis Edward Stuart granted him a marquessate. In 1711, he married Mary (d. 1776), daughter of Sir John Dalzell, 2nd Baronet (d. 1698), sister of Robert Dalzell, 5th Earl of Carnwath, and niece of Captain James Dalzell, his long-time Jacobite friend. They had three sons and a daughter.
At the urging of his brother-in-law, Lord Carnwath, he joined the Jacobite rising planned by John Erskine, Earl of Mar, who appointed Kenmure, despite his total lack of military experience, commander of the Lowland Jacobite forces. He led a hundred and fifty cavalry to the border. On 24 October 1715, he proclaimed King James VIII at Kelso. Joining with Northumbrian insurgents, he marched into England. He was taken prisoner at the barricades of Preston, and brought to London. He was subsequently tried, found guilty, and beheaded on Tower Hill on 24 February 1716, and his title and estates forfeited.
- Paul Hopkins (2004) ‘Gordon, William, sixth Viscount Kenmure and Jacobite marquess of Kenmure (d. 1716)’. Oxford DNB.
- O Kenmure's on and awa', a ballad about William Gordon
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