Earl of Dysart

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Earl of Dysart (pronounced /ˈdzərt/) is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1643 and has been held continuously since then by twelve descendants.

Earldom of Dysart
Earl of Dysart COA.svg
Creation date3 August 1643
MonarchKing Charles I
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderWilliam Murray
Present holderJohn Peter Grant of Rothiemurchus, 13th Earl
Heir apparentJames Patrick Grant, Lord Huntingtower
Remainder to2nd Countess's heirs of the body lawfully begotten, failing which to her heirs whatsoever
Subsidiary titlesLord Huntingtower


The title was created in 1643 for William Murray, who had earlier represented Fowey and East Looe in the English House of Commons. He was made Lord Huntingtower at the same time, also in the Peerage of Scotland. William Murray had been a lifelong friend of King Charles I, in fact having been his whipping boy while the latter was Prince of Wales.[1][2]


Murray was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth, the second Countess. In 1670 she resigned the peerage and received a new grant thereof by patent with precedency of her father, and with remainder to her heirs of the body, failing which to her heirs whatsoever. Lady Dysart married, firstly, Sir Lionel Tollemache, 3rd Baronet (see Tollemache Baronets for earlier history of this title), and, secondly, John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale.[3] She was succeeded by her son from her first marriage, Lionel, the third Earl, who had already succeeded his father as fourth Baronet. Lord Dysart notably represented Orford and Suffolk in the House of Commons and served as Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, but declined the offer of an English barony.[4] His son, Lionel Tollemache, Lord Huntingtower pre-deceased him and the title was inherited by his grandson, Lionel Tollemache, 4th Earl of Dysart in 1727. The 4th Earl was elected High Steward of Ipswich and Knight of the Thistle.[5] The title passed to the 4th Earl's eldest son, Lionel, who became 5th Earl in 1770. The 5th Earl died without issue in 1799 and the title passed to his brother, Wilbraham, former Member of Parliament for Northampton and Liskeard, who became the 6th Earl at the age of sixty.[1][5]

With no direct descendants the Tollemache baronetcy became extinct on Wilbraham's death in 1821. The Scottish titles were inherited by the 5th and 6th Earls' sister, Louisa Tollemache, the seventh Countess, widow of John Manners, then aged seventy-five. On succeeding to the titles Lady Dysart assumed by Royal licence the surname and arms of Tollemache (or Talmash).[1]

Louisa's eldest son and heir apparent, William Tollemache, Lord Huntingtower, was created a Baronet, of Hanby Hall in the County of Lincoln, in the Baronetage of Great Britain in 1793. However, he predeceased his mother and Lady Dysart was succeeded by her grandson, Lionel the eighth Earl (the son of Lord Huntingtower), who had already succeeded his father as second Baronet. Lionel represented Ilchester in Parliament 1827–30.[1] Lionel's son, William Tollemache, Lord Huntingtower, predeceased him in 1872 and, on his death in 1878, was succeeded by his grandson, William, the ninth Earl, Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland.[1]

On the death of the 9th Earl the baronetcy and Scottish peerages separated. The baronetcy was inherited by a male heir, Lyonel, (see Tollemache Baronets for later history of this title) while the lordship and earldom passed to his niece Wynefryde Agatha, the tenth Countess (1889–1975). She was the daughter of Agnes Mary Manners Talmash (sister of the ninth Earl) and her husband Charles Norman Lindsay Tollemache Scott.[5]

Lady Dysart married Owain Edward Whitehead Greaves and was succeeded in 1975 by their oldest daughter Rosamund Agnes Greaves (1914–2003) the eleventh Countess.[5] In 2003 her sister Katherine Grant of Rothiemurchus (1918–2011), the widow of Lieutenant-Colonel John Peter Grant of Rothiemurchus M.B.E. became the twelfth Countess. As of 2017 the titles are held by her only son, the thirteenth Earl, who succeeded his mother in 2011.

The family seat is now The Doune of Rothiemurchus, near Aviemore, Inverness-shire.[6]

Earls of Dysart (1643/1670)Edit

The heir apparent is the present holder's only son, James Patrick Grant of Rothiemurchus, Lord Huntingtower (b. 1977).
The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son, John Peter Grant of Rothiemurchus, Master of Huntingtower (b. 2011).[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Harwood, H. W. Forsyth; Murray, Keith W. (1906). Paul, James Balfour (ed.). Murray, Earl of Dysart. The Scots Peerage. III. Edinburgh: David Douglas. p. 401–420.
  2. ^ Hunneyball, Paul (2010). "MURRAY, William (c.1600-1655), of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster and Ham, Surr.". In Thrush, Andrew; Ferris, John P. (eds.). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629. Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Rosalind K. Marshall (2004). "Elizabeth Murray in ODNB". Oxford Dictionary National Biography. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  4. ^ Wedgwood, Josiah Clement (2002). The House of Commons 1690-1715. Cambridge University Press. pp. 648–649. ISBN 0-521-77221-4. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Pritchard, Evelyn (2007). Ham House and its owners through five centuries 1610-2006. Richmond Local History Society. ISBN 9781955071727.
  6. ^ "The Doune House". Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  7. ^ "The Countess of Dysart [1918-2011]". Retrieved 22 May 2012.[better source needed]

External linksEdit