Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gordon, John (d.1644)

GORDON, Sir JOHN (d. 1644), royalist, was the son of George Gordon (d. 1610), by Margaret, daughter of Sir Alexander Bannerman of Elsick in Aberdeenshire. He succeeded his grandfather, James Gordon of Methlick and Haddo, Aberdeenshire, in November 1624. Appointed by Charles I next in command to George Gordon, second marquis of Huntly [q. v.], in conducting the forces raised against the covenanters in 1639, he greatly distinguished himself at the battle of Turriff on 14 May of that year, in which the Gordons were victorious. After the conclusion of the treaty of pacification on 20 June, Gordon repaired to the king at Newark. In 1642 he was created a baronet. For his opposition to the covenant, letters of intercommuning were issued by the convention against him in November 1643, and an order granted for his apprehension. The sheriff of Aberdeen proceeded accordingly, in January 1644, to his house of Kellie at the head of a large force, but Gordon had escaped. He joined the Marquis of Huntly in behalf of the king, and sentence of excommunication was pronounced against them both by order of the committee of the general assembly on 16 April 1644. On the retreat of the marquis's forces, Gordon attempted to defend his house of Kellie against the Marquis of Argyll, but capitulated unconditionally on 8 May. He was sent to Edinburgh, and imprisoned in the western division of the cathedral of St. Giles, adjoining the Old Tolbooth, which acquired in consequence the name of 'Haddo's Hold.' On his trial he pleaded that he had the king's commission and acted under his authority, but he was condemned and beheaded with the 'maiden' at the cross of Edinburgh on 19 July 1644. By his marriage in 1630 to Mary, daughter of William Forbes of Tolquhon, Aberdeenshire, he had, with other issue, two sons, John (d. 1665), who was restored to the title and estates, and George, first earl of Aberdeen [q. v.]

[Douglas's Peerage of Scotland (Wood), i. 1819; Spalding's Hist. (Spalding Club); Anderson's Scottish Nation, ii. 327; Acts of Parliament of Scotland, vi. 21; Burton's Hist. of Scotland (2nd ed.), vi. 402-3.]

G. G.