William Cuningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn

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William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn

Death: Died in Belton, Haddingtonshire, Scotland
Place of Burial: St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburghshire, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of William Cuninghame, 8th Earl of Glencairn and Janet Kerr
Husband of Anne Cunningham, Countess of Glencairn (Ogilvy) and Margaret Montgomerie
Father of Alexander Cunningham, 10th Earl of Glencairn; Lady Jean Boyd (Cunningham); John Cunningham, 11th Earl of Glencairn; Margaret Cunningham; William Cunningham and 3 others
Brother of Jean Cunningham; Margaret Cunninghame and Marion Cuninghame

Managed by: Private User
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About William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn

From Clan Cunningham


A consistent supporter of Charles 1st, the 9th Earl was obliged to forfeit his title to the Scottish Parliament, but in time when he realized the possibility of Scotland being drawn into the feud between Charles and his Parliament in London, William's support for the monarch quickly diminished. His title was restored and following the execution of Charles 1st, the 9th Earl fought with the Highland clans against General Monk when Cromwell invaded Scotland. Following a personal duel and skirmishes in the ranks he withdrew his forces/ thereafter engaging Monk's columns at Dumbarton where overwhelming odds forced him to surrender on honorable terms. He returned home but was thrown into prison on suspicion of plotting/ but following the Restoration, Charles 2nd rewarded him with the appointment of Privy Councilor. A few years later he was elevated to Lord Chancellor but further political intrigues reduced his powers to almost nothing and he died a disillusioned man.

From Wikipedia

The eldest son of William Cunningham, 8th Earl of Glencairn, on July 21, 1637 this William obtained a ratification from King Charles 1st, under the Royal Sign Manual, of the original Glencairn Letters Patent of 1488.

He was sworn a member of the Privy Council of Scotland and in 1641 was appointed a Commissioner of the Treasury.

The Earl supported the Royalist cause of his King, and in 1643 joined with the Duke of Hamilton and the Earls of Lanark and Roxburgh, in opposing the sending of a Scottish army into England to assist the English Parliamentary Army. For this loyalty he received a (now published) personal letter from the King.

He was appointed Lord Justice General by parliament in 1646. He knew of and is said to have "entered heartily into" the attempted rescue of Charles I in 1648, and was subsequently deprived by parliament of this post on February 15, 1649, under the Act of Classes. The parliament, now being dominant, at the instance of the Public Prosecutor, then passed a Decreet, on March 2, 1650, annulling the original Glencairn Letters Patent of 1488. (This was rescinded at the Restoration}.

Glencairn then led an insurrection in the Highlands in 1653 (See: Royalist rising of 1651 to 1654) in favour of King Charles II, when General Monk had possession of Scotland. In January 1654 he was commissioned by Charles II to command the Royal forces in all of Scotland, numbering some 3,500 men, but he later handed his command to General Middleton. About this time Glencairn and Lieutenant-General Sir George Munro, 1st of Newmore engaged in a duel with both pistols & swords two miles to the south of Dornoch. Munro had poured scorn on the quality of their forces and Glencairn had defended them, challenging Munro, who lost but was only wounded. Middleton initially placed the Earl under arrest, but the Earl left the army a fortnight later.

He was then arrested by Monck in 1655, who later permitted him to return home. Glencairn was excepted from Oliver Cromwell's "grace and pardon", but nevertheless was one of the peers whom Monk called to the Convention he summoned when he was about to march into England in 1659. It was at this Convention that Glencairn called for Monk to declare for a free parliament.

Upon the Restoration Glencairn waited upon King Charles II at London, when he was again sworn a Privy Councillor and appointed Sheriff Principal of Ayrshire. On January 19, 1661, he was constituted Lord Chancellor of Scotland for life, upon the resignation of the Earl of Loudon.

Glencairn was Chancellor of the University of Glasgow from 1660, and was one of the principal advisors of the re-establishment of Episcopacy in Scotland. He was not, however, opposed to Presbyterianism, and the subsequent bitter disputes between the two religious factions greatly distressed him and affected his health.

The Earl died at Belton, East Lothian, on May 30, 1663, aged 54 years. He was buried, with great pomp, in the south-east aisle of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, on the 28th July following.

References: Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867, p.312-3.

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Cunningham,_9th_Earl_of_Glencairn -------------------- High Chancellor of Scotland

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William Cuningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn's Timeline

Age 26
Age 30
May 30, 1664
Age 54
Belton, Haddingtonshire, Scotland
July 28, 1664
Age 54
St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburghshire, Scotland