John Erskine, 5th Lord Erskine

John Erskine, 5th Lord Erskine (7 July 1487 - 11 November 1555) was a Scottish nobleman. His family was claimant to the earldom of Mar; this was recognized in 1565 for his son, John. Following a dynastic dispute in the 19th century, John Lord Erskine was acknowledged, retrospectively, as the 17th Earl. On 3 August 1522, Erskine was appointed keeper of the ten-year-old King James V of Scotland and Stirling Castle. He had strict instructions from Margaret Tudor to hold the castle keys and set a password every night for the King's guards. The instructions were given again by act of the Parliament of Scotland in 1523.[1]

In 1535 he travelled to England to collect the collar of Order of the Garter from Henry VIII of England on behalf of James V. The ceremony took place at Windsor Castle and later Erskine met Henry VIII at Thornbury Castle.[2] James V had given Lord Erskine a detailed instruction about his precedence in the Garter Chapel;

"Ye shall purchase to have the place was promised to us next to the King of France amongst kings, and failing thereof that ye take documents to fulfill for our part and leave it so."

Erskine returned to London where Cromwell's servant John Gostwyk gave him a gift of silver plate, £20 to his companion the Lyon King of Arms, David Lyndsay, and 80 crowns to the Rothesay Herald.[3]

John Erskine was also a commissioner for the marriage negotiations of James V and Mary of Bourbon.[4] After James married Madeleine of Valois, Mar took receipt of Dunbar Castle, which was formerly garrisoned by John Stewart, Duke of Albany for France.[5]


John Erskine was the son of Robert Erskine, 4th Lord Erskine and Isabel Campbell. He married Lady Margaret Campbell, daughter of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll and Elizabeth Stewart. John was succeeded as Lord Erskine by his son John, who was later made Earl of Mar by Queen Mary in 1565.

John's daughter Margaret Erskine was a mistress of King James V of Scotland and the mother of Regent Moray, she later married Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven.

Lord Erskine died soon after November 1555.

Children of John Erskine, 5th Lord Erskine and Lady Margaret Campbell include;

External linksEdit

  • Erskine family tree
  • [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 242. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  • [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910–1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, (2000), volume V, page 105. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage. [
  • [S8] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 104. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.
  • [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume 8, 418; volume 7, 100.


  1. ^ HMC, Mar & Kellie, (1904), 11-14.
  2. ^ State Papers Henry VIII, part iv part 2, vol.5 (1836) 41, 25 April 1536.
  3. ^ Letters & Papers Henry VIII, vol. 9 (1886), no. 165.
  4. ^ Hay, Denys, ed., Letters of James V, HMSO (1954), 294-295, 297. (James V's copy of the Statutes of the Order of the Garter (in French) delivered to Erskine, is now in the National Library of Scotland, MS. 7143)
  5. ^ HMC, Mar & Kellie, (1904), 11-14.