Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ker, Andrew (d.1526)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

KER, Sir ANDREW (d. 1526), of Cessfurd or Cessford, Scottish borderer, was the eldest son of Sir Robert Ker of Caverton, Roxburghshire, cupbearer and master of artillery to James IV, by his wife Christina, daughter of James Rutherford of Rutherford. He was served heir to his grandfather 30 Sept. 1511, being then of lawful age. Shortly afterwards, to avenge the death of his father, who some years previously had been slain by Starhed and two other Englishmen, Ker sent two of his vassals, who entered Starhed's house, ninety miles beyond the borders, killed him, and brought his head to Ker. Ker sent it to Edinburgh, where it was set up in a conspicuous position (Buchanan, bk. xiii. c. xxvi.) At Flodden Ker fought under Lord Home with the other ‘merch-men,’ who, after defeating the English vanguard, dispersed in search of pillage. He was one of those who signed the letter to the king of France, 15 May 1515, proposing that Scotland should be comprehended in the treaty with England (Rymer, Fœdera, xiii. 309). In August of the same year he was appointed warden of the middle marches (Albany to Dacre, Cal. State Papers, Hen. VIII, vol. ii. entry 795). Dacre expressed surprise at the appointment of Ker, ‘a young man without wisdom and substance;’ but two years afterwards confessed that he had no fault to find with him, ‘but that he is some forgitfyll and rakles’ (ib. entry 3393). In January 1520 Ker defeated a force of four hundred Mersemen who, under Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, were hastening to support Andrew Ker [q. v.] of Ferniehirst in his assumption of the power to hold courts at Jedburgh, claimed as an exclusive right by the Earl of Angus. The action of Ker was submitted to the decision of arbiters. The final decision of the arbiters, given on 24 Sept., was that Ker and his friends should for their lifetimes take the Earl of Arran's ‘trew and afuld part,’ and in particular should henceforth assist him against the Earl of Angus and his party (Hamilton Manuscripts, Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. App. pt. vi. pp. 32–3). On 22 Jan. 1521 Ker was appointed one of a commission for a treaty with England (Fœdera, xiii. 735), which was signed on the 30th (ib. p. 739). In September 1524 he and Scott of Buccleuch, ‘on account of a variance with each other,’ were called before the council and committed to prison (Cal. State Papers, Hen. VIII, iv. 651). In 1526, he with Lord Home accompanied the king to Melrose when he went to hold justice eyres in the southern shires. Shortly after taking leave they learned that Scott of Buccleuch with one thousand men was approaching to deliver the king from the power of Angus. Returning immediately, they succeeded in turning the tide of battle against Buccleuch; but Ker, while in pursuit of the foe, was slain, 23 Jan., by a spear hurled at him by one of Buccleuch's servants. By his wife Agnes, daughter of Robert, second lord Crichton of Sanquhar, he had three sons: Sir Walter [q. v.], Mark, commendator of Newbattle [see Kerr, Mark], and Andrew; and two daughters: Catherine, married to Sir John Ker of Ferniehirst, and Margaret, to Sir John Home of Coldingknowes.

[Histories of Buchanan and Leslie; Rymer's Fœdera; Cal. State Papers, Hen. VIII; Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. App. pt. vi.; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 445.]

T. F. H.