James Sutherland, 2nd Lord Duffus

James Sutherland, 2nd Lord Duffus (son of Alexander Sutherland, 1st Lord Duffus)


James, second Lord Duffus, succeeded his father in 1674. He is found attending the Scots Parliament in 1678, 1681, 1685, and became a Privy Councillor in 1686. He appears to have become considerable embarrassed by debt, and is said to have sold or mortgaged his estates to his second son. In 1688 he was pressed for payment by one of his creditors, William Ross, younger of Kindeace, and while walking together between Balnagown and the ferry of Inverbreakie, Lord Duffus, apparently in a moment of exasperation, drew his sword and ran his companion through the body. After the crime, he fled into England, where he remained until his friends procured for him a remission from the Crown. On 8 April 1688, referring to the tragedy, his mother-in-law Lady Seaforth wrote to him, 'Many a man has fallen in such ane accident worse than your circumstances was, yet has been at peace with God and all the world, and lived very happily for all that.'[1] His remission could not have been long delayed, as on 16 March 1689 he was one of those who subscribed the act declaring the legality of the meeting of the Estates summoned by the Prince of Orange,[2] and later, on 15 April 1690, he took the oath of allegiance to the Prince as King William the Third.[3]
     In 1695 an Act was passed allowing him the privilege of two yearly fairs and a weekly market at Duffus.[4] In 1701 he voted on behalf of the Darien Company,[5] and he was one of those who objected to an increase of the forces.[6]
     The second Lord Duffus died 24 September 1705, having married (contract dated 5 September 1674) Margaret, eldest daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, third Earl of Seaforth.[7] She survived him barely a year, dying in August 1706.[8] They had issue:--
     1. Kenneth, who succeeded as third Lord Duffus.
     2. James Dunbar of Hempriggs.
     3. William Sutherland of Roscommon, who took part in the rising of 1715, after which he went abroad. He married (contract dated 20 and 22 October 1702) Helen, eldest daughter of William Duff of Dipple, and sister of the first Earl Fife. She died July 1740, without issue.
     4. John.
     5. Alexander.
     6. Elizabeth.
     7. Frances.
     8. Henrietta, born 21 February 1684.
     9. Mary, married to James Sinclair of Mey, and had issue.
     10. Katharine, married to John Cuthbert, town-clerk of Inverness, and had issue.


[1] Scottish Antiquary, iv. 51, 52.
[2] Acta Parl. Scot., ix. 9.
[3] Ibid., 109.
[4] Ibid., 502.
[5] Ibid., x. 246.
[6] Ibid., 294.
[7] Sutherland Book, i. 515.
[8] Moray Tests.

Sources: Balfour Paul, J. (1906) The Scots Peerage, vol. 3. Edinburgh: David Douglas.

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