Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 22.djvu/221
[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.]
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.]
GORDON, JOHN, (thirteenth or) fourteenth Earl of Sutherland (1609-1663), second but eldest surviving son of John, (twelfth or) thirteenth earl, by his wife, Lady Anna Elphinston, was born on 4 March, 1609. [For his grandfather, Alexander, (eleventh or) twelfth earl, see under Gordon, John, (tenth or) eleventh earl.] His father died when he was six and a half years old, and his uncle, Sir Robert Gordon (1580-1656) [q. v.], became his guardian. He studied for two years at Edinburgh, and then for four years at St. Andrews, returning home about 1630. He had been served heir to his father at Inverness in 1616 and 1622, and had also then obtained feudal investiture in his lands.
On 14 Feb. 1632 the earl married Lady Jean Drummond, only daughter of James, earl of Perth. Immediately afterwards he redeemed a number of his lands which had been mortgaged, and about the same time he obtained a new charter of his lands, and the erection of Dornoch into a royal burgh, all which, with the sheriffdom of Sutherland, were ratified to him by parliament. Having in his capacity as sheriff seized and imprisoned some thieves in his own country, Lord Lorne charged him before the privy council with having exceeded his powers. The council fully approved his action, and empowered him to have and exercise judicial powers within his own bounds. In 1631 Sutherland had agreed with Charles I to resign his offices of sheriff and crowner of Sutherland for 1,000l. sterling, that the king might, by annexing the districts of Strathnaver, Assynt, and Farintoscher to Sutherland, erect the sheriffdom of Sutherland, and place it under the jurisdiction of sheriffs, with Dornoch as the head burgh of the shire. Charles wrote to the earl in 1634 requesting his assistance in the reparation of the cathedral church of the diocese of Caithness at Dornoch. The earl's share of glazing the cathedral and placing his armorial bearings in one of the windows was 73l. 6s. 8d. (Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. App. pp. 178, 179). The Marquis of Hamilton requested Sutherland (with what result does not appear) to join in sending Scottish supports to Gustavus Adolphus in 1631 (Letter dated Holyrood House, 13 May 1631, ib.) When, however, the covenanting struggle began in Scotland in 1637, Sutherland took a leading part in the movement. He was one of the chief negotiators between the supplicant ministers and people and the council, and frequently presented the petitions in reference to the obnoxious service-book. When the national covenant was renewed on 28 Feb. 1638, he was the first to subscribe the new bond. He obtained many subscriptions to the covenant in the north of Scotland, and, in answer to appeals from the Marquis of Huntly, declared that he was for the king, though opposed to the bishops, and begged Huntly himself to join the covenanters. Sutherland was popular with the covenanters, who called him the 'good Earl John.' He was a most active agent in all their proceedings. He raised large levies of men from his estates, sending many to join the mili-