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Updated 06/19/2020


Marquis of Huntly's Highland Fling

Marquess of Huntly (traditionally spelt Marquis in Scotland) is a title in the Peerage of Scotland created on 17 April 1599 for George Gordon, 6th Earl of Huntly. It is the oldest existing marquessate in Scotland, and the second-oldest in the British Isles, only the English marquessate of Winchester being older.

The Gordon family descends from Sir Adam Gordon of Huntly, killed at the Battle of Humbleton Hill in 1402 and succeeded in his estates by his daughter Elizabeth Gordon, wife of Alexander Seton who assumed the surname of Gordon for himself and "all his heirs male." He was created Earl of Huntly in the Peerage of Scotland in 1445 and succeeded by his son, the second Earl, who served as Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1498 to 1501. His younger son the Hon. Adam Gordon married Elizabeth, suo jure Countess of Sutherland. Their grandson John Gordon succeeded his grandmother in the earldom in 1535.

Lord Huntly's elder son, the third Earl, was a member of the Council of Regency in 1517. He was succeeded by his grandson, the fourth Earl, Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1546 to 1562, who was killed in the latter year, and in 1563 an Act of Attainder was passed through Parliament with all his titles forfeited. His eldest surviving son, George Gordon, was condemned to death for treason in 1563 but later pardoned. He obtained a reversal of his father's attainder in 1567 and served as Lord Chancellor of Scotland.

George Gordon was succeeded by his son, the aforementioned sixth Earl, who was several times engaged in rebellion against the king and had his titles forfeited in 1593. He was restored to his titles in 1597. In 1599 King James VI created him Lord Gordon of Badenoch, Earl of Enzie and Marquess of Huntly in the Peerage of Scotland. He was succeeded by his elder son, the second Marquess.

Before the passing of the Peerage Act 1963, which granted all Scottish peers a seat in the House of Lords, the Marquesses of Huntly sat in the House of Lords in virtue of their junior title of Baron Meldrum, which was in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.