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WILLIAM GORDON KENMURE

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 730 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM GORDON KENMURE, 6th viscount (d. 1716), Jacobite leader, son of Alexander, 5th viscount (d. 1698), was descended from the same family as Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar (d. 1604), whose grandson, Sir John Gordon (d. 1634), was created Viscount Kenmure in 1633. The family had generally adhered to the Presbyterian cause, but Robert, the 4th viscount, had been excepted from the amnesty granted to the Scottish royalists in 1654, and the 5th viscount, who had succeeded his kinsman Robert in 1663, after some vacillation, had joined the court of the exiled Stuarts. The 6th viscount's adherence to the Pretender in 1715 is said to have been due to his wife Mary Dalzell (d. 1776), sister of Robert, 6th earl of Carnwath. He raised the royal standard of Scotland at Lochmaben on the 12th of October 1715, and was joined by about two hundred gentle-men, with Carnwath, William Maxwell, 5th earl of Nithsdale, and George Seton, 5th earl of Wintoun. This small force received some additions before Kenmure reached Hawick, where he learnt the news of the English rising. He effected a junction with Thomas Forster and James Radclyffe, 3rd earl of Derwentwater, at Rothbury. Their united forces of some fourteen hundred men, after a series of rather aimless marches, halted at Kelso, where they were reinforced by a brigade under William Mackintosh. Threatened by an English army under General George Carpenter, they eventually crossed the English border to join the Lancashire Jacobites, and the command was taken over by Forster. Kenmure was taken prisoner at Preston on the 13th of November, and was sent to the Tower. In the following January he was tried with other Jacobite noblemen before the House of Lords, when he pleaded guilty, and appealed to the king's mercy. Immediately before his execution on Tower Hill on the 24th of February he reiterated his belief in the claims of the Pretender. His estates and titles were forfeited, but in 1824 an act of parliament repealed the forfeiture, and his direct descendant, John Gordon (1750-1840), became Viscount Kenmure. On the death of the succeeding peer, Adam, 8th viscount, without issue in 1847, the title became dormant.
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