CLAN GORDON HISTORY
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Name of Scottish family having,
according to genealogists, 157 main branches, taking its name from
the village Gordon in Berwickshire, where a younger son of an
Anglo-Norman nobleman settled in time of David I as Adam de Gordon.
His great-grandson Sir
Adam de Gordon (d. 1333) sided
with Sir William Walace . Fought against Edward I; (Edward
longshanks) justiciar of Scotland (1310-14); after Bannockburn,
attached himself to Robert Bruce, who granted him lordship of
Strathbogie in Aberdeenshire, which he renamed Huntly; killed at
Halidon Hill. From him descended almost all of Gordons of eminence in
Sir Adam' s
Adam Gordon (d. 1402) was
ancestor through his daughter Elizabeth, who married Alexander Seton
(d. 1470), of Seton-Gordons holding earldom of Huntly (see below) and
of dukes of Gordon and Sutherland. Earles And Marqusise Of Huntley
And Dukes Of Gordon:
Se·ton-Gordon (d. 1470), 1st
Earl of Huntly (created 1449), son of Elizabeth
Gordon and Alexander Seton;
accompanied Margaret of Scotland to
France on marriage with Dauphin Louis (1436); held command at siege
of Roxburgh Castle (1460).
His son George
Gordon (d. 1502? ), 2d
earl, was lord high chancellor of Scotland (1498-1501); m. Princess
Annabella, daughter of James I of Scotland; from their second son
descended the earls of Sutherland; from their third son were
descended the Gordons of Gight, maternal ancestors of Lord Byron.
The eldest son
Gordon (d. 1524), 3d
earl, led Scots vanguard at Flodden (1513); twice member of council
of regency (1517, 1523).
Gordon (1514-1562), 4th
earl, a regent (1536-37), supported Cardinal Beaton against Arran
(1543); as lieutenant of north, crushed Camerons and Macdonalds
(1544); lord chancellor (1546); received earldom of Moray (1548) but,
when stripped of it through queen' s jealousy of hispower, joined
lords of the congregation (1560) and died in revolt against royal
His second son
Gordon (d. 1576), 5th
earl, restored to his father' s lands and dignities (nominally, 1565;
actually, 1567), allied himself with Bothwell and Queen Mary (1566);
lord chancellor; aided in murder of Darnley, divorce of his sister
from Bothwell, and Mary' s marriage with Bothwell; conspired for
Queen Mary' s deliverance from Loch Leven Castle (1567), but seceded
from her cause (1572).
His son George
Gordon (1562-1636), 6th
earl, was head of Roman Catholics of Scotland; took part in plot
leading to execution of Morton (1581) and in conspiracy that
delivered King James VI from Ruthven raiders (1583); raised rebellion
in north (1589) but had to submit to king; conducted private war
against earl of Moray and killed him (1592); after destruction of his
castle Strathbogie by the king, had to leave Scotland (1595), charged
with treason; pardoned, received into kirk, created marquis of Huntly
and joint lieutenant of the north (1599).
His son George
Gordon (d. 1649), 2d
marquis, was created (1632) Viscount Aboyne ; refused to subscribe
covenant (1638); as lieutenant of the north, driven from Strathbogie
byMontrose; in civil war, took king' s side, stormed Aberdeen (1645);
excepted from general pardon (1647); beheaded by order of Scots
Gordon (1643-1716), 4th
marquis, was restored to family titles and estates (1661); created
duke of Gordon (1684); held Edinburgh Castle for James II in
Revolution of 1688.
Gordon (1678?-1728), 2d
duke, also a Jacobite, as marquis of Huntly led 2300 men to Old
Pretender at Perth (1715).
George Gordon (1751-1793),
agitator, 3d son of 3d duke of Gordon, rose to rank of lieutenant in
navy (1772); M.P. (1774-81); headed Protestant associations organized
to secure repeal of act relieving Roman Catholics of certain
disabilities (1778); headed mob of about 50,000 in march from St.
George' s Fields to houses of Parliament with repeal petition,
precipitating so-called No-Popery, or Gordon, Riots (June 2-8, 1780);
acquitted of treason through Erskine' s skillful defense;
excommunicated, converted to Judaism (1786); convicted of libel on
Marie-Antoinette (1787); lived at ease in Newgate, giving dinners and
dances, until his death.
Gordon (1770-1836), 5th
and last duke, raised (1794) Gordon Highlanders regiment and
commanded it in Spain, Corsica, Ireland, Holland; general (1819);
commanded division in Walcheren expedition (1809); left dukedom
extinct at death. Earles Of Sutherland :
Gordon of Aboyne (d. 1538),
2d son of George Gordon, 2d Earl of Huntly, took title earl of
Sutherland in right of his wife Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland,
sister of 9th earl.
Gordon (1609-1663), 14th
earl, active and popular Covenanter, was one of leaders at battle of
Auldearn (1645); lord privy seal in Scotland (1649-51); raised force
against Cromwell (1650).
Gordon (1661-1733), 16th
earl, served under William III in Flanders; privy councilor to Queen
Anne (1704); commissioner for union of Scotland and England (1706);
Scottish representative peer; lord lieutenant for northern counties
(1715); put down Jacobite uprising (1715).
sole heir of 18th earl, was recognized (1771) as countess of
Sutherland; m. (1785) George Granville Leveson-Gower (q.v.).
Viscounts K Enmure :
John Gordon of Lochinvar (1599? -1634),
1st Viscount Kenmure (created 1633) and Baron Lochinvar, descendant
of younger son of Sir
Adam de Gordon (d. 1333);
Gordon (d. 1716), 6th
viscount; Jacobite; in rising of 1715 commanded in southern Scotland;
proclaimed James VIII at Lochmaben; captured at Preston and beheaded.
Earles And Marquis Of Aberdeen:
Gordon (1637-1720), 1st
Earl of Aberdeen (created (1682); Scottish statesman; according to
tradition descended from Sir
John (d. 1394), illegitimate
brother of Sir
Adam Gordon (d. 1402);
member of Scots Parliament; chancellor of Scotland under James, Duke
of York (1682-84); dismissed for leniency to nonconformists;
supported treaty of union (1705-06).
Hamilton-Gordon (1784-1860) 4th
earl; succeeded grandfather as earl (1801); as special ambassador to
Austria negotiated and signed Treaty of Töplitz (1813) creating
alliance against Napoléon; signed Treaty of Paris (1814).
British foreign secretary under Wellington (1828-30) and Peel
(1841-46); established friendly relations with France, and with U.S.
by Webster-Ashburton and Oregon treaties (1842, 1846). Headed
coalition ministry (1852) which was forced into Crimean War; resigned
(1855) upon vote of censure on mismanagement of war. His grandson
Campbell Gordon (1847-1934), 7th
earl, was lord lieutenant of Ireland (1886, 1906-1915); governor
general of Canada (1893-98); created marquis of Aberdeen and Temair
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