Keith, William (d.1635) (DNB00)

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KEITH, WILLIAM, sixth Earl Marischal (d. 1635), was the eldest son of George, fifth earl Marischal, by his wife Margaret, daughter of Alexander, fifth lord Home [q. v.] On 21 Jan. 1608 he was, along with his father, summoned [see Keith, George, fifth Earl Marischal] to answer for his conduct towards Francis Sinclair, son of the Earl of Caithness (Reg. P. C. Scotl. viii. 38). He succeeded to the earldom on the death of his father, 2 April 1623. On 1 Oct. of the same year he granted a charter, ratifying his father's erection of Marischal College, Aberdeen, and mortification therefor of the lands of the Black and the White friars, but specially excepting the lands of the chaplanries of Bervie and Cowie (Fasti Mariscallanæ Aberdonensis, i. 190–4). He was present at the funeral of James I at Westminster Abbey, 5 May 1625 (Balfour, Annals, ii. 117). When Charles I in 1626 bought three ships for securing the Scottish coasts, the Earl Marischal was made commander of them; but, according to Sir James Balfour, allowed his captains to make good cheer instead of annoying the enemy (ib. ii. 141). When Charles entered Edinburgh after his coronation in 1633 the Earl Marischal received him at the High Tolbooth, and ‘conveyed him to his tribunal through his guard standing within the door and set the king down’ (Spalding, Memorials, i. 38). In the following year he fitted out a fleet, which he sent to the assistance of Uladislaus VII, king of Poland. He died at his castle of Dunnottar 28 Oct. 1635, and was buried in the church there on 26 Dec. following. By his wife, Lady Margaret Erskine, daughter of John, earl of Mar, he had four sons, William, seventh earl Marischal [q. v.]; George, eighth earl Marischal; Hon. Sir Robert Keith; and John, first earl of Kintore [q. v.]; and three daughters: Mary, married to John, lord Kinpont; Jane, to Alexander, lord Pitsligo; and Anne.

[Fasti Mariscallanæ Aberdonensis; Balfour's Annals of Scotland; Spalding's Memorialls of the Trubles (Spalding Club); Reg. P. C. Scotl.; Peter Buchan's Ancient and Noble Family of Keith; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 194.]

T. F. H.