Keith, William, 6th Earl Marischal

Biography: Nobleman. Entered Marischal Coll. (founded by his grandfather), 1631, then travelled on the continent - in France 1635, visited England before returning to Scotland 1637. Privy Councillor 1638. Support of the king's covenant ambiguous, supported the covenanters against the royalist marquess of Huntly, occupied Aberdeen for the covenanters against the royalists 23-24 May and June 1639. Fighting stopped with the Treaty of Berwick. Active for the covenanters in the second bishops' war 1640, but grew discontented, especially so by 1642. Did not become royalist however. Raised a regiment which served in the English army 1644-7, but mostly inactive in the mid-1640s. Supported the engager regime in Scotland 1647-8. Led a troop of horse into England 1647 but army disintegrated at the battle of Preston. After church regime took power, had to admit former conduct was sinful, referred to the presbytery of Aberdeen to give satisfaction for his support of the engagement. Appointed colonel of horse and foot Dec 1650. Did not march into England with King Charles II but stayed behind as part of committee of estates left to govern. Captured by the English at Alyth, Forfarshire 1651. As marshal of Scotland, was responsible for the honours (crown, sceptre and sword) which were sent to Dunnottar Castle for safekeeping June 1651, had them hidden in Kinneff Church til 1660. Sent to London and imprisoned in varying degrees of confinement for some years. Excluded from the Scottish Act of Pardon 1654, property confiscated but then substituted for a fine. Had returned to Dunnottar by 1659. Took over custody of the honours 1660. Appointed Privy Councillor 1661, and keeper of the privy seal. Died at Inverugie 1671.

Biography Date: 1614-1671

Biography References: LOC; DNB;


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