Seven manuscript items relating to the claim of Sir Adam Fergusson of Kilkerran to the title of Earl of Glencairn and Lord Kilmaurs, including a petition, memoranda, lists of evidence, judgement.

Sir Adam Fergusson (1733-1813) of Kilkerran, Ayr, Scotland [Earl of Glencairn and Lord Kilmaurs]
Publication details: 
Scotland and England; 1796 and 1797.
SKU: 12560

The background to the collection is simply stated. On the death of the 15th Earl of Glencairn in 1796 the title became dormant. It was claimed by Fergusson (praised by Boswell but dismissed by Johnson as 'a vile Whig' and derided by Burns as 'aith-detesting chaste Kilkerran') as heir of the line of the 10th Earl. Fergusson's claim was opposed by Sir Walter Montgomery Cunningham of Corshill, as presumed heir male along with Lady Henriet Don, sister of the 15th Earl, and wife of Sir Alexander Don of Newton Don, Roxburghshire. On 14 July 1797 the House of Lords Committee of Privileges, chaired by the Lord Chancellor Lord Rosslyn, took a view unfavourable to all the claimants, and adjudged, that while Sir Adam Fergusson had shown himself to be the heir-general of the 10th Earl, he had not made out his right to the title. All six items in manuscript, and the collection in fair condition, on aged and dusty paper, with occasional wear to extremities. ONE. 'The Humble Petition of Sir Adam Fergusson of Kilkerran Baronet.' 2pp., foolscap 8vo. Dated 'Ad: Fergusson. | Whitehall 21st. Novr. 1796.' Noting that Fergusson's claim to 'the Title & Dignity of Earl Glencairn of & Ld. Kilmaurs' has been 'consented by the Duke of Portland (by His Majy's Command) and read and referred to the Committee of Privileges'. TWO. 'Evidence to be produced for Lady Harriet Don'. 3pp., 4to. Docketed 'List of the Evidence to be produced for Lady Harriett Don | 1 April 1797'. Twelve items, described in detail, with most crossed through. THREE. Anonymous notes on the 'Glencairn Peerage | Com[itt]ee. of Privileges'. Dated 23 May 1797. 4pp., foolscap 8vo. FOUR. 'Evidence produced for Lady Harriet Don | To prove that in 1671, John 11th. Earl of Glencairn succeeded his brother Alexander 10th. Earl of Glencairn in the Estate & title of Glencairn in preference to Lady Margaret the daughter of the sd. Earl Alexander, and that Lady Harriet Don is lineally descended from said John Earl of Glencairn. | Mr. John Spottiswoode was called in, and having been sworn, | Produced [seven numbered items described in detail]'. 3pp., foolscap 8vo. FIVE. 'Judgement on the Glencairn Claim of Peerage' by 'George Rose Cler Parliamentor'. 14 July 1797. 1p., foolscap 8vo. SIX. Anonymous 'Mem[orandum]. of Evidence Glencairn'. Late eighteenth century. 2pp., foolscap 8vo. Listing seventeen items.