Keith, John (DNB00)

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KEITH, Sir JOHN, first Earl of Kintore (d. 1714), was the fourth son of William, sixth earl Marischal [q. v.] In 1650 Dunnottar Castle, then possessed by his brother William, seventh earl Marischal [q. v.], was selected by the Scottish estates, as a specially secure place, for the preservation of the regalia of Scotland from Cromwell's troops. The castle was soon afterwards besieged, but the wife of James Grainger, minister of Kinneff, obtained leave on some pretence to visit Mrs. Ogilvie, wife of the governor, and carried the regalia to Kinneff, where her husband con- cealed them under the flagstones of the church. Keith's mother, Lady Margaret Erskine, is said to have suggested the scheme. Keith was apprehended after the surrender of the castle, and swore that he had conveyed the regalia out of the country and delivered them to Charles II. His statement—a dangerous one for himself—was accepted, and the search for them was discontinued. For this service he was at the Restoration appointed knight marischal of Scotland, the office being made hereditary in his family. On 26 June 1677 he was also created Earl of Kintore and Lord Keith of Inverary and Keith-Hall, and named a member of the privy council. In December 1684 he was appointed treasurer depute. Kintore was one of the supporters of the union with England. He died in 1714. By his wife Lady Margaret Hamilton, daughter of Thomas, second earl of Haddington, he had a son William, second earl of Kintore, and two daughters: Jean, married to Sir William Forbes of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, and Margaret, married to Gavin Hamilton of Raploch.

[Buchan's Hist. of the Keiths, Earls Marischal; Douglas's Peerage of Scotland (Wood), ii. 53.]

T. F. H.