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Airth, Earl of (S, 1632/3 - dormant 1694)


Creation: let.pat. 21 Jan 1632/3


Dormant: 12 Sep 1694


Family name: Graham




Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Argent on a Chief Sable three Escallops Or (Graham);  2nd and 3rd, Or a Fess chequy Azure and Argent and in chief a Chevron Gules (Stewart of Strathearn)


An Eagle's Head proper beaked Or


On either side a Lion guardant Gules collared Sable and charged with three Escallops Or


 Right and Reason



William [Graham], 7th Earl of Menteith later 1st Earl of Airth, PC

only son and heir of John [Graham], 6th Earl of Menteith, by his wife Mary Campbell, 3rd dau. by his second wife of Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy


aft. Jul 1589


aft. 30 Mar 1612 Hon Agnes Gray (d. after 1 Mar 1666/7), 2nd dau. of Patrick [Gray], 6th Lord Gray, by his second wife Lady Mary Stewart, 1st dau. of Robert [Stewart], 1st Earl of Orkney


1. Hon John Graham, styled Lord Kinpoint (b. c. 1613; dvp. 6 Sep 1644), mar. after 11 Apr 1632 Lady Mary Keith (d. after Apr 1663), 1st dau. of William [Keith], 5th Earl Marischal, by his wife Lady Mary Erskine, 1st dau. by his second wife of John [Erskine], 18th and de jure 2nd Earl of Mar, and had issue:

1a. Hon William Graham, later 2nd Earl of Airth

1a. Lady Mary Graham (d. Nov 1720), mar. 8 Oct 1662 Sir John Allardice of Allardice (bapt. 12 Dec 1641; d. Apr 1676), and had issue

2a. Lady Elizabeth Graham (d. 1672), mar. Jan 1664 her fifth cousin three times removed Sir William Graham of Polder later of Gartmore, 1st Bt., and had issue

2. Hon Sir James Graham (d. after 1683), mar. (1) Lady Margaret Erskine, 2nd dau. of Hon James Erskine, jure uxoris 6th Earl of Buchan, by his wife Lady Mary Douglas, suo jure Countess of Buchan, and had issue:

1a. Marian Graham, mar. her fourth cousin twice removed Walter Graham of Gartur (d. c. Apr 1702), 1st son and heir of John Graham of Blaircesnoch and Gartur by his second wife Isabella Drummond, dau. of John Drummond of Coquhalzie, and had issue

Hon Sir James Graham mar. (2) Isabella Bramhall, 1st dau. of John Bramhall, and had further issue:

2a. Helen Graham (b. c. 1662; d. 17 Mar 1709), mar Capt Sir Arthur Rawdon, 2nd Bt., of Moira, co. Down, and had issue

3. Hon Andrew Graham (dvp. betw. 14 Sep 1616 and 23 Jun 1632)

4. Hon Robert Graham (dvp. and sp.)

5. Hon Patrick Graham (dvp. and sp.)

6. Hon Charles Graham (dvp. and sp.)

7. Hon Archibald Graham (d. after 1682), mar. Janet Johnston, and had issue:

1a. John Graham (dvp. and sp.)

1. Lady Mary Graham (d. 28 Jan 1663), mar. as his first wife Col Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy, 4th Bt. MP, and had issue

2. Lady Margaret Graham (d. after 4 Dec 1649), mar. (1) after 15 Jul 1633 Hon Alexander Stewart, styled Lord Garlies (b. c. 1609; dvp. 1638), 1st son and heir ap. of Alexander [Stewart], 1st Earl of Galloway, by his wife Grizel Gordon, dau. by his second wife of Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar, and (2) bef. 5 Oct 1643 Ludovic [Lindsay], 16th Earl of Crawford, and had issue by her first husband

3. Lady Anne Graham, mar. Sir Mungo Murray of Blebo, and had issue

4. Lady Jean Graham (dsp.), mar. John Chisholm of Cromlix


after 13 Apr 1661


21 Jan 1632/3 Earl of Airth

suc. by



suc. his father as 7th Earl of Menteith Dec 1598; a Commissioner of Judiciary against the Clan Gregor in the stewardry of Menteith 1610; Privy Councillor [S] 1626/7; Lord Justice General of Scotland 1628; an Extraordinary Lord of Session 1628-33; Lord President of the Scottish Council 1628-33; Privy Councillor [E] 1630; the Earl of Menteith claimed the Earldom of Strathearn as heir of line to David [Stewart], 1st Earl of Strathearn, and in 1631 was confirmed by Royal Charter in that dignity "to him and his heirs male and of entail", directing that he and they should thereafter be styled Earls of Strathearn and Menteith; however, once the King had been advised that this resurrection of the old royal Earldom of Strathearn could lead the Earl of Menteith to consider making a claim to the Throne, the charter was "reduced", i.e. cancelled, by the Court of Session in 1633 ; as compensation the lands and Barony of Airth was erected into an Earldom on 21 Jan 1632/3 and united with the Earldom of Menteith and to have the same precedency as the Earldom of Menteith and "ordained the said Earl and his heirs to be called in all time coming Earls of Airth and to bruik and enjoy the honours, dignity, and precedence due to them by virtue of the said Charter granted to the said Malise, Earl of Menteith before all others"; made to resign all his offices in 1633 but restored to favour at Court and re-appointed to the Privy Council [S] 1639; Joint Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire with his son 1639


William [Graham], 2nd Earl of Airth


c. 1634

mar. (1)

Nov 1661 (div. for her adultery 19 Jul 1684) Ann Hewes

mar. (2)

4 Apr 1685 Catherine Bruce (d. 1692), dau. of Thomas Bruce of Blairhill


s.p. 12 Sep 1694


Capt, Perth Militia 1669; a Commissioner of Excise 1680; in 1680 obtained a Royal Warrant to resign his peerages and estates in favour of the Marquess of Montrose, the Chief of the House of Graham, but it was ratified by the Scottish Parliament in 1681 only as concerned the territorial Earldom of Menteith, the Crown being "unwilling to alter the settled course of succession to the titles of honour of the Earl of Menteith and Airth and others contained in his patent"


On the death of the 2nd Earl of Airth the Earldoms of Airth and Menteith became dormant. The Earldom of Menteith was claimed by William Graham, on the assumption that his great-grandmother, Lady Elizabeth, was the only sister of the 2nd Earl of Airth. He voted as Earl of Menteith in the election for Peers of Scotland in 1744, 1747, 1749, 1752 and 1761 but his assumption of the Earldom was prohibited by order of the House of Lords in 1762. In 1834 Capt Robert Barclay Allardice of Ury and Allardice petitioned the King to be recognised as Earl of Airth as heir-general and heir of line of William [Graham], 1st Earl of Airth, his great-great-great-grandfather. The petition was referred to the House of Lords. No decision was forthcoming and in 1840 Capt Barclay Allardice petitioned Queen Victoria for him to be recognised as Earl of Strathearn, Menteith and Airth. Capt Barclay Allardice died in 1854 and his elder daughter, Mary Barclay Allardice, renewed the claim to the three Earldoms in 1870. She was opposed by William Bontine Cunninghame Graham of Ardoch and Gartmore, who contended that the Earldoms were descendible only to heirs-male, and that he was the heir-male of Malise [Graham], 1st Earl of Menteith. The Committee for Privileges heard evidence in support of the opposing claims in 1870 and 1871, but came to no decision, and the three Earldoms are still dormant.


First written 4 Mar 2005



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