George Gordon, 1st Earl of Aberdeen

Sir George Gordon of Haddo, Baronet, afterwards Earl of Aberdeen, was born 3 October 1637, and was a student and Professor of Marischal College. In 1663 he went abroad to study law, and returning 1667, on his brother's death, he became a member of the Faculty of Advocates, 7 February 1668. He is stated by Crawford to have often pleaded at the bar, but to have declined all fees. He was elected a Commissioner to represent Aberdeen in Parlia- ment 1669-1674, 1678, and 1681-2. He was called to the Privy Council in 1678; created a Lord of Session 8 June 1680, and took the style of Lord Haddo; President of the College of Justice, 14 October 1681. He is so described in a grant of the pension of £500, dated at Whitehall, 29 October. He was created Chancellor of Scotland in succession to John, Duke of Rothes, by letters patent, dated at Windsor 1 May 1682, and sealed 9 May following. On 7 November 1682 he was appointed Sheriff of Aberdeen in succession to John, Earl of Erroll, and 2 December Sheriff of Edinburgh.

By letters patent, dated at Whitehall, 30 November 1682, narrating at great length the services and sufferings of his father, Sir George was created EARL OF ABERDEEN, VISCOUNT OF FORMARTYNE, AND LORD HADDO, METHLIC, TARVES, AND KELLIE, with remainder to the heirs male of his body. A difference arose between the Chancellor and the Duke of Queensberry on the question whether husbands should be lined for their wives' nonconformity in religion, the Chancellor holding the negative. The difference having been decided by the King in favour of the Duke, the Earl of Aberdeen resigned his office, 23 June 1684. It is stated in Fountainhall's Historical Notices that a large sum of money was paid to the Duchess of Portsmouth to get the Earl dismissed. Aberdeen avoided taking the oath of allegiance to King William, but took the oath and his seat in Parliament on the accession of Queen Anne. He thereafter lived in retirement, but adhered to the protest of the Duke of Atholl against the Act of Union.

Earl George married, contract dated in 1671, Anna, daughter of George Lockhart of Tarbrax (deceased), with consent of her maternal grandfather, Sir James Lockhart of Lee (Lord Justice-Clerk), and of her brother William, to whom she was afterwards heir. They had issue:-
  • 1. John, baptized at Methlic 7 September 1673, and there buried 17 June 1675.
  • 2. George, Lord Haddo, baptized at Methlic 6 August 1674. Living 7 May 1691, but died v. p. and unmarried.
  • 3. James, baptized at Methlic 11 August 1676 d. s. p.
  • 4. William, second earl.
  • 5. Anna, baptized at Methlic 18 July 1675, married to Alexander, ninth Earl of Eglinton, and died before June 1709.
  • 6. Jean, baptized at Methlic 13 February 1678.
  • 7. Martha, born 13 February 1681, baptism registered at Edinburgh, married March 1701 to John Udny of Udny.
  • 8. Mary, born 28 March 1682, baptism registered at Edinburgh, married, 26 October 1707, at Methlic to Alexander, twelfth Lord Saltoun, and died 18 February 1753, having had issue.
  • 9. Margaret, who died April 1738. Testament dated 30 January 1738, confirmed at Aberdeen 2 June 1741.
The Spalding Club printed in 1851 a volume containing Letters to George, Earl of Aberdeen 1681-4, the Introduction to which gives the best existing account of this distinguished nobleman's life, principally derived from Spalding's Memorials and Fountainhall's Historical Notices.

The earl died at Kellie 20 April 1720 in the eighty-third year of his age. His testament was dated 15 May 1706.

The countess was buried at Methlic 19 July 1707.


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