1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lothian, Earls and Marquesses of
LOTHIAN, EARLS AND MARQUESSES OF. Mark Kerr, 1st earl of Lothian (d. 1609), was the eldest son of Mark Kerr (d. 1584), abbot, and then commendator, of Newbattle, or Newbottle, and was a member of the famous border family of Ker of Cessford. The earls and dukes of Roxburghe, who are also descended from the Kers of Cessford, have adopted the spelling Ker, while the earls and marquesses of Lothian have taken the form Kerr. Like his father, the abbot of Newbattle, Mark Kerr was an extraordinary lord of session under the Scottish king James VI.; he became Lord Newbattle in 1587 and was created earl of Lothian in 1606. He was master of inquests from 1577 to 1606, and he died on the 8th of April 1609, having had, as report says, thirty-one children by his wife, Margaret (d. 1617), daughter of John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries. His son Robert, the 2nd earl, died without sons in July 1624. He had, in 1621, obtained a charter from the king enabling his daughter Anne to succeed to his estates provided that she married a member of the family of Ker. Consequently in 1631 she married William Ker, son of Robert, 1st earl of Ancrum (1578–1654), a member of the family of Ker of Ferniehurst, whose father, William Ker, had been killed in 1590 by Robert Ker, afterwards 1st earl of Roxburghe. Robert was in attendance upon Charles I. both before and after he came to the throne, and was created earl of Ancrum in 1633. He was a writer and a man of culture, and among his friends were the poet Donne and Drummond of Hawthornden. His elder son William was created earl of Lothian in 1631, the year of his marriage with Anne Kerr, and Sir William Kerr of Blackhope, a brother of the 2nd earl, who had taken the title of earl of Lothian in 1624, was forbidden to use it (see Correspondence of Sir Robert Ker, earl of Ancrum, and his son William, third earl of Lothian, 1875).
William Ker (c. 1605–1675), who thus became 3rd earl of Lothian, signed the Scottish national covenant in 1638 and marched with the Scots into England in 1640, being present when the English were routed at Newburn, after which he became governor of Newcastle-on-Tyne. During the Civil War he was prominent rather as a politician than as a soldier; he became a Scottish secretary of state in 1649, and was one of the commissioners who visited Charles II. at Breda in 1650. He died at Newbattle Abbey, near Edinburgh, in October 1675. William’s eldest son Robert, the 4th earl (1636–1703), supported the Revolution of 1688 and served William III. in several capacities; he became 3rd earl of Ancrum on the death of his uncle Charles in 1690, and was created marquess of Lothian in 1701. His eldest son William, the 2nd marquess (c. 1662–1722), who had been a Scottish peer as Lord Jedburgh since 1692, was a supporter of the union with England. His son William, the 3rd marquess (c. 1690–1767), was the father of William Henry, the 4th marquess, who was wounded at Fontenoy and was present at Culloden. He was a member of parliament for some years and had reached the rank of general in the army when he died at Bath on the 12th of April 1775. His grandson William, the 6th marquess (1763–1824), married Henrietta (1762–1805), daughter and heiress of John Hobart, 2nd earl of Buckinghamshire, thus bringing Blickling Hall and the Norfolk estates of the Hobarts into the Kerr family. In 1821 he was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Ker and he died on the 27th of April 1824. In 1900 Robert Schomberg Kerr (b. 1874) succeeded his father, Schomberg Henry, the 9th marquess (1833–1900), as 10th marquess of Lothian.