Earl of Dumfries

  (Redirected from Lord Sanquhar)

Earl of Dumfries is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was originally created for William Crichton, 9th Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, in 1633, and stayed in the Crichton family until the death of the fourth countess in 1742, at which point the title passed to first the Dalrymple and then the McDouall families before finally being inherited by the Marquesses of Bute, where it remains today.

Earldom of Dumfries
Marquess of Bute COA.svg
Creation date12 June 1633
MonarchCharles I
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderWilliam Crichton, 1st Earl of Dumfries
Present holderJohn Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute, 12th Earl of Dumfries
Heir apparentJohn Bryson Crichton-Stuart, Earl of Dumfries[1]
Remainder toheirs male bearing the name and arms of Crichton and, through a novadamus (amendment) issued on 3 November 1690, with the former precedency by which, failing himself and his grandson and the heirs male of the body of the latter, the remainder was extended to Penelope, eldest daughter of his son Charles, Lord Crichton, and the heirs of her body, succeeding to the family estates, and similarly to his son's other daughters, whom failing, to his son's nearest heirs whatsoever.
Subsidiary titlesLord Crichton of Sanquhar and Cumnock, Viscount of Ayr
Former seat(s)Dumfries House, Sanquhar Castle
Currently the Earldom resides with the Marquesses of Bute. However, the title, can be inherited through the female line through an amendment to the original creation and the title could be separated from the Marquesses of Bute should heirs presumptive to the titles of Bute and Dumfries be male and female, respectively, inherit.

The subsidiary titles of the Earl of Dumfries are: Viscount of Ayr and Lord Sanquhar (created 2 February 1622),[2] Lord Crichton of Sanquhar (1488), and Lord Crichton of Cumnock (12 June 1633),[3] all in the Peerage of Scotland.

Family historyEdit

The traditional account of the origins of the Dumfries family are that the descended a noble Hungarian, that came to Scotland with Queen Margaret, in the during the reign of Malcolm III of Scotland.[4]

The family origins are in Crichton, Midlothian. Thurstanus de Crichton was present at the charter of Holyrood Abbey alongside King David I in 1128.[4]

Sanquhar Castle was built by Lord Crichton in the 13th century in the south west Scotland in the area of Dumfries and Galloway. The lord's descended to become the Earls of Dumfries, a title in the peerage of Scotland in 1633[5][6] for William Crichton, 1st Earl of Dumfries seventh Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, he was invested the viscount of Ayr, Feb 2 1622, the earl of Dumfries, and Lord Crichton of Sanquhar and Cumnock, June 12th 1633. William was made the Earl of Menteith, December 20th that year too.[7] The Castle was sold Crichtons during the mid 1600s to the Duke of Queensberry. The castle a ruin, was bought in 1895 by John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, by a descendant of the Lord Crichton.

William, was the fifth earl of Dumfries, in 1721 he was commissioned in his uncle's 'Earl of Stair's regiment', and the 6th dragoons, he would continue to fight in the army until 1747. In 1742 he became the Earl following his Mother the Countess' death. During his military career he fought at the Battle of Dettingen as aide-de-camp to the Earl of Stair. Afterwards in 1744 he was appointed captain-lieutenant in the third regiment of footguards, during this period he was Sheriff of Clackmannan for the year 1742–47. In 1752 he was invested with the Order of the Thistle, and in 1760 he succeeded his brother James, as fourth earl of Stair, and was thenceforward styled earl of Dumfries and Stair. The Earl left a legacy in commissioning the Adams brothers, Robert, John and James, to design a new house to be called Leifnorris House. It was later that the name was to be changed to Dumfries House in line with his title. The house was completed on time and on budget in 1759.[8] On July 27, 1768, he died at Dumfries House without an heir, his widow left to move to Edinburgh. He was succeeded in the title Earl of Dumfries by his nephew, Patrick Macdowall of Freugh; and the Earl of Stair went to his cousin, John Dalrymple.[7]

Dumfries house.

The Dumfries family seat was inherited by his nephew, Patrick McDouall-Crichton, 6th Earl of Dumfries (1726-1803). His daughter Lady Elisabeth Penelope married the John Stuart, Lord Mount Stuart, and was the grandmother of the 2nd Marquess of Bute, 7th Earl of Dumfires who merged the two titles of Dumfries and Bute. The subsequent 2nd, 3rd and 4th Marquess of Bute/7th, 8th and 9th Earls of Dumfries became involved in the coal mining industry in south Wales creating 2 gothic revival residences, Cardiff castle and Castell Coch. The 10th Earl of Dumfries became involved with birds working as an ornithologist; he purchased the islands of St Kilda, leaving it to the National Trust for Scotland in 1956.[9] The eleventh Earl of Dumfries became a scholar being having graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, also becoming a fellow at the University of Edinburgh.[10] A patron of the arts he held successive positions for decades, such as trustees and chairman on councils and boards in the United kingdom. He sold family's properties in Edinburgh and Cardiff to pay his father's death tax. The earl also took traditional roles as the Lord Lieutenant of Bute and of Argyll.[11] The Earl's business had employed the most people on the Isle of Bute, a designer fabrics and contemporary furniture company.[12]

One of the most important transitions fell to the 12th Earl. He was known as 'Johnny Dumfries' a Formula 1 race car driver featuring in the 1986 season. The occupation of Dumfries House had been a family home from 1760 to 1993, when the last full-time occupant Lady Eileen, Dowager Marchioness of Bute, passed away. The house remained in the hands of the 7th Marquess of Bute who ensured that it was maintained, although not used as a primary residence,[8] since then Charles, Prince of Wales bought Dumfries house to maintain its history by opening it to the public. [13][14]

Lords Crichton of Sanquhar (1488)Edit

Viscounts of Ayr (1622)Edit

Earls of Dumfries (1633)Edit

The heir presumptive to the Marquessate of Bute is Lord Anthony Crichton-Stuart (b.1961), second son of the 6th Marquess and uncle of the 8th Marquess.

The heir presumptive to the Earldom of Dumfries is Lady Caroline Crichton-Stuart (b. 1984), eldest daughter of the 12th Earl (7th Marquess) and elder sister of the current Earl (8th Marquess).

Family TreeEdit

William Crichton
1st Earl of Dumfries

Sir James Stuart
1st Baronet
(died 1662)
William Crichton
2nd Earl of Dumfries

Sir Dugald Stuart
2nd Baronet
(died 1670)
The Hon. Charles Chricton
Lord Crichton
John Dalrymple
1st Earl of Stair

James Stuart
1st Earl of Bute

(died 1710)
William Crichton
3rd Earl of Dumfries
(died 1694)
Penelope Crichton
suo jure
4th Countess of Dumfries
(died 1741/2)
William Dalrymple
of Glenmure
(died 1744
James Stuart
2nd Earl of Bute

(died 1722/3)
William Dalrymple-Crichton
5th Earl of Dumfries

4th Earl of Stair
Elizabeth Dalrymple
John Stuart
3rd Earl of Bute

6th Earl of Dumfries

John Stuart
1st Marquess of Bute

Elizabeth Penelope
John Stuart
Viscount Mount Stuart

John Crichton-Stuart
7th Earl of Dumfries
2nd Marquess of Bute

John Patrick Crichton-Stuart
8th Earl of Dumfries
3rd Marquess of Bute

John Patrick Crichton-Stuart
9th Earl of Dumfries
4th Marquess of Bute

John Crichton-Stuart
10th Earl of Dumfries
5th Marquess of Bute

John Crichton-Stuart
11th Earl of Dumfries
6th Marquess of Bute

John Colum Crichton-Stuart
12th Earl of Dumfries
7th Marquess of Bute

John Bryson Crichton-Stuart
13th Earl of Dumfries
8th Marquess of Bute

(born 1989)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ As his father uses the Marquessate as the title of precedence, the heir apparent is entitled to use the lesser title by courtesy and style.
  2. ^ Cokayne 1910, p. 68.
  3. ^ Cokayne 1910, p. 69.
  4. ^ a b Douglas, Robert, Sir, 1694-1770. "CRICHTON Earl of DUMFRIES and STAIR". quod.lib.umich.edu.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Dumfries, Earl of (S.1633)". Cracroftspeerage.co.uk.
  6. ^ "House of Stuart". European Heraldry.
  7. ^ a b "Dumfries". electricscotland.com.
  8. ^ a b "History". Dumfries house.
  9. ^ "5th Marquess of Bute, John Crichton-Stuart (1907-1956)". Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  10. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2021.
  11. ^ Gavin Stamp (2004). "Stuart, John Crichton-, sixth marquess of Bute (1933–1993)". doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/51532. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  12. ^ Jones, Peter. "John Crichton_Stuart" (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  13. ^ "Historic mansion sold to nation". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  14. ^ Dumfries house magazine. "Dumfries house". princeofwales.gov.uk.
  15. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)