William Kerr, 1st Earl of Lothian

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Old map of Lothian and Linlithgow, with the arms of William Kerr, 1st Earl of Lothian

William Kerr, first Earl of Lothian of a new creation (1605–1675) was a Scottish nobleman.[1]


He was appointed one of the four commissioners of the treasury in 1642, was lieutenant-general of the Scots Army in Ireland, and was appointed privy councillor in the same year.

He entered Parliament in 1644 and joined Lord Argyll in expedition against Lord Montrose during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in 1644. He was one of the commissioners sent to treat with the king at Holmby House in 1647.

He was appointed secretary of state in 1649 and was one of the commissioners sent by the Scottish Parliament to protest against proceeding to extremities against the king. he was a general of the Scottish forces in 1650. In 1662 he refused to take the abjuration oath.

Personal life[edit]

The eldest son of Sir Robert Kerr, later 1st Earl of Ancram, he was born within St James's Palace in London and was educated at Cambridge University and at Paris. He accompanied George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham to the Isle of Rhé in 1627 and served in the expedition against Spain in 1631.

He married Anne Kerr, 3rd Countess of Lothian in 1630 and was created Lord Kerr of Newbattle and Earl of Lothianin his own right in 1631. He signed the national covenant in 1638, and was Governor of Newcastle in the same year.

Children of William Kerr, 1st Earl of Lothian and Lady Anne Kerr:

  • Lady Mary Kerr (d. Mar 1708)
  • Lady Margaret Kerr
  • Lady Anne Kerr (26 November 1631 – 30 August 1658)
  • Lady Elizabeth Kerr (b. 6 September 1633), who married Sir Francis Scott of Thirlestane, and was mother of Sir William Scott of Thirlestane.[2][3]
  • Robert Kerr, 1st Marquess of Lothian (8 March 1636 – 15 February 1703)
  • Sir William Kerr (b. 22 December 1638)
  • Charles Kerr (b. 17 July 1642)
  • Lady Vere Kerr (24 April 1649 – 17 April 1674)
  • Lady Henrietta Kerr (2 February 1653 – 30 June 1741)


  1. ^ "Oxford Biography Index entry, William Kerr". Oxford University Press 2004-13. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  2. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). "Kerr, William (1605?-1675)". Dictionary of National Biography. 31. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  3. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1897). "Scott, William (1674?-1725)". Dictionary of National Biography. 51. London: Smith, Elder & Co.