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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 420 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LENNOX, a name given to a large district in Dumbartonshire and Stirlingshire, which was erected into an earldom in the latter half of the 12th century. It embraced the ancient sheriffdom of Dumbarton and nineteen parishes with the whole of the lands round Loch Lomond, formerly Loch Leven, and the river of that name which glides into the estuary of the Clyde at the ancient castle of Dumbarton. On this river Leven, at Balloch, was the seat of Alwin, first earl of Lennox. It is probable that he was of Celtic descent, but the records are silent as to his part in history; that he was earl at all is only proved from the charters of his son, another Alwin, and he died some time before 1217. The second Alwin was father of ten sons, one of whom founded the clan Macfarlane, famous in the annals of the district, while another was ancestor of Walter of Farlane, who married the heiress of the 6th earl of Lennox. Maldouen, the 3rd earl, eldest of the sons of Alwin the younger, is an historical personage; he was a witness to the treaty between Alexander II., king of Scotland, and his brother-in-law the English king Henry III., at Newcastle in 1237, concerning the much disputed northern counties of England. His grandson, Malcolm, successor to the title, swore fealty to Edward I. in 1296; it was apparently his son, another Malcolm, the 5th earl, who was summoned by Edward to parliament James VI. the next heir, but was soon after granted to the king's uncle Charles, who died in 1576, leaving an only child, the unfortunate Lady Arabella Stewart. Two years later the title was granted to Robert Stewart, the king's grand-uncle, second son of John, the 3rd earl, but he in 158o exchanged it for that of earl of March. On the same day the earldom of Lennox was given to Esme Stewart, first cousin of the king and grandson of the 3rd earl, he being son of John Stewart (adopted heir of the marechal d'Aubigny) and his French wife, Anne de la Queulle. In the following year Esme was created duke of Lennox, earl of Darnley, Lord Aubigny, Tarboulton and Dalkeith, and other favours were heaped upon him, but the earl of Ruthven sent him back to France where he died soon after. His elder son, Ludovic, was thereupon summoned to Scotland by James, who invested him with all his father's honours and estates, and after his accession to the English throne created him Lord Settrington and earl of Richmond (1613), and earl of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and duke of Richmond (1623), all these titles being in the peerage of England. After holding many appointments the 2nd duke died without issue in 1624, being succeeded in his Scottish titles by his brother Esme, who had already been created earl of March and Lord Clifton of Leighton Bromswold in the peerage of England (1619) and was seigneur d'Aubigny in France. Of his sons, Henry succeeded to Aubigny and died young at Venice; Ludovic, seigneur d'Aubigny, entered the Roman Catholic Church and received a cardinal's hat just before his death; while the three other younger sons, George, seigneur d'Aubigny, John and Bernard, were all distinguished as royalists in the Civil War. Each met a soldier's death, George at Edgehill, John at Alresford and Bernard at Rowton Heath. James, the eldest son and 4th duke of Lennox, was created duke of Richmond in 1641; being like his brother a devoted adherent of Charles I. With the death of his little son Esme, the 5th duke, in ,66o, the titles, including that of Richmond, passed to his first cousin Charles, who had already been created Lord Stuart of Newbury and earl of Lichfield, being likewise now seigneur -d'Aubigny. Disliked by Charles II., principally because of his marriage with la belle Stuart "—" the noblest romance and example of a brave lady that ever I read in my life," writes Pepys—he was sent into exile as ambassador to Denmark, where he was drowned in 1672. His wife had had the Lennox estates granted to her for life, but his only sister Katharine, wife of Henry O'Brien, heir apparent of the 7th earl of Thomond, was served heir to him. Her only daughter, the countess of Clarendon, was mother of Theodpsia Hyde, ancestress of the present earls of Darnley. The Lennox dukedom, being to heirs male, now devolved upon Charles II., who bestowed it with the titles of earl of Darnley and Lord Tarbolton upon one of his bastards, Charles Lennox, son of the celebrated duchess of Portsmouth, he having previously been created duke of Richmond, earl of March and Lord Settrington in the peerage of England. The ancient lands of the Lennox title were also granted to him, but these he sold to the duke of Montrose. His son Charles, who inherited his grandmother's French dukedom of Aubigny, was a soldier of distinction, as were the 3rd and 4th dukes. The wife of the last, Lady Charlotte Gordon, as heir of her brother brought the ancient estates of her family to the Lennoxes; the additional name of Gordon being taken by the 5th duke of Richmond and of Lennox on the death of his uncle, the 5th duke of Gordon. In the next generation further honours were granted to the family in the person of the 6th duke, who was rewarded for his great public services with the titles of duke of Gordon and earl of Kinrara in the peerage of the United Kingdom (1876). See Scots Peerage, vol. v., for excellent accounts of these peerages by the Rev. John Anderson. curator Historical Dept. H.M. Register House; A. Francis Steuart and Francis J. Grant, Rothesay Herald. See also The Lennox by William Fraser.
End of Article: LENNOX

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