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GEORGE DUNBAR

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 688 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GEORGE DUNBAR, 11th earl of Dunbar and 4th earl of March, was one of the negotiators for the release of James I. of Scotland in 1423 from his captivity in England, and was knighted at that king's coronation. In 1434, however, on the ground that the regent had had no power to reverse his father's forfeiture for treason, March was imprisoned and his castle of Dunbar seized by the king; and the parliament at Perth declared his lands and titles forfeited to the crown. The earl, being released, retired to England with his son Patrick, whose daughter and heiress Margaret was ancestress of Patrick, 5th earl of Dumfries, now represented by the marquess of Bute. The earldom of March in the house of Dunbar having thus been forfeited to the crown, James II. in 1455 conferred the title, together with that of warden of the marches, on his second son Alexander, duke of Albany; but this prince entered into treasonable correspondence with Edward IV. of England, and in 1487 the earldom of March and the barony and castle of Dunbar were again declared forfeited and annexed to the crown of Scotland. The title of earl of March was next held by the house of Lennox. In 1576 the earldom of Lennox became extinct on the death without male issue of Charles (father of Lady Arabella Stuart), 5th earl of Lennox; and it was then revived in favour of Robert Stuart, a grand-uncle of King James VI., second son of John, 3rd earl of Lennox. But in 1579 Esme Stuart, a member of a collateral branch which in 15o8 had inherited the lordship of Aubigny in France, came to Scotland and obtained much favour with James VI. The earldom of Lennox (soon afterwards raised to a dukedom) was taken from Robert and conferred upon Esme; and Robert was compensated by being created earl of March and baron of Dunbar (1582). Robert died without legitimate issue in 1586, when the earldom of March again reverted to the crown. In 1619 Esme, 3rd duke of Lennox, was created earl of March; and his son James was created duke of Richmond in 1641. On the death without issue of Charles, 6th duke of Lennox and 3rd duke of Richmond, in 1672, his titles devolved upon King Charles II. as nearest collateral heir-male. In 1675 Charles conferred the titles of duke of Richmond and Lennox and earl of March on Charles Lennox, his natural son by Louise de Keroualle, duchess of Portsmouth, from whom the earldom of March has descended to its present holder the duke of Richmond and Gordon. (See RICHMOND, EARLS AND DUKES OF; and LENNOX.) The title of earl of March in the peerage of Scotland, by another creation, was conferred in 1697 on William Douglas, second son of William, 1st duke of Queensberry. His grandson William, 3rd earl of March, became 4th duke of Queensberry on the death without surviving male issue of his cousin Charles, 3rd duke of Queensberry, in 1778. Dying unmarried in 181o, the several titles of the duke passed to different branches of the house of Douglas. The earldom of March is stated by Sir Bernard Burke and other authorities to have devolved upon Francis, 8th earl of Wemyss, great-great-grandson of David, 3rd earl of Wemyss, whose wife was Anne, daughter of the 1st duke of Queensberry and sister of the 1st earl of March; and the title is now assumed by the earl of Wemyss. On the other hand, Francis, 8th earl of Wemyss, not having been an heir of the body of the 1st earl of March, Sir Robert Douglas says in The Peerage of Scotland that on the death of the 4th duke of Queensberry in 1810 " the earldom of March, it is supposed, became extinct." See Andrew Lang, History of Scotland (4 vols., London, 1900-1907); Sir Bernard Burke, A Genealogical History of Dormant and Extinct Peerages (London, 1866) ; Sir Robert Douglas, The Peerage of Scotland (2 vols., Edinburgh 1813) ; Lady Elizabeth Cust, Some Account of the Stuarts of Aubigny in France (London, 1891). (R. J. M.)
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