General George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon

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General George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon's Geni Profile

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George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon

Birthplace: Edinburgh, Edinburghshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Belgrave Square, London, England
Place of Burial: Elgin Cathedral
Immediate Family:

Son of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon and Jane Gordon, Duchess of Gordon
Husband of Elizabeth Margaret Gordon, Duchess of Gordon
Partner of Jane Graham
Father of Georgiana McCrae; Charles Gordon and Susan Gordon
Brother of Charlotte Lennox, Duchess of Richmond; Lady Madeline of Gordon; Susan Montagu, Duchess of Manchester; Louisa Cornwallis, Marchioness Cornwallis; Georgiana Elizabeth Russell (Gordon), Duchess of Bedford and 1 other

Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:

About General George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon

"General George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon GCB, PC (2 February 1770 – 28 May 1836), styled Marquess of Huntly until 1827, was a Scottish nobleman, soldier and politician and the last of his illustrious line."



BBC - Your Paintings - George Gordon (1770–1836), 5th Duke of Gordon


Citations / Sources :

1. [S452] #21 The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant (1910), Cokayne, George Edward (main author) and Vicary Gibbs (added author), (New edition. 13 volumes in 14. London: St. Catherine Press,1910-), vol. 1 p. 54; vol. 2 p. 45 fn. (c), 85; vol. 3 p. 457.,_5th_Duke_of_Gordon

He married at Bath, on 11 December 1813, Elizabeth Brodie, who was twenty-four years his junior. Brodie was the daughter of Alexander Brodie of Arnhall in Kincardineshire. Elizabeth Grant described her thus:

His bride was young, and good, and rich, but neither clever nor handsome. She made him very happy and paid his most pressing debts, that is her father did, old Mr Brodie of the Burn, brother to Brodie of Brodie.... He made a really large fortune; he gave with his daughter, his only child, £100,000 down, and left her more than another at his death. Really to her husband her large fortune was the least part of her value; she possessed upright principles, good sense, and she turned out a first-rate woman of business. In her later years she got into the cant of the Methodists.

However, at the time of his marriage and, in fact, until he inherited the Dukedom, George found himself in almost constant financial difficulties. He was referred to as "Lord Huntly now in the decline of his rackety life, overwhelmed with debts, sated with pleasure, tired of fashion, the last heir male of the Gordon line". While his marriage remedied some of these problems, it did not supply the much sought-after heir.

Like his father, George acquired many of the positions which the Gordon family could expect almost as of right. These included the posts of Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Chancellor of Marischal College, Aberdeen and Lord High Constable of Scotland. He held the latter post of Lord High Constable for the Coronation of King George the Fourth in 1820.

By the time of his succession to the dukedom, he had established a reputation as an extreme reactionary. He steadfastly opposed the Great Reform Bill and when the majority of Tory Peers opted to abstain, he remained one of the twenty-two "Stalwarts" who voted against the Third Reading of the Bill in the House of Lords on 4 June 1832.

Throughout much of this period, his wife served Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of King William IV, at Court. Indeed, she was given the Queen's Coronation robe, which is now to be found with many other Gordon memorabilia at Brodie Castle.

Nathaniel Parker Willis, the American journalist, has left us with an interesting account of life at Gordon Castle in the twilight years of the 5th Duke's life. He described the "canonically fat porter" at the lodges who admitted him to a "rich private world peopled by ladies cantering sidesaddle on palfreys, ladies driving nowhere in particular in phaetons, gentlemen with guns, keepers with hounds and terrier at heel, and everywhere a profusion of fallow deer, hares and pheasants. At the castle a dozen lounging and powered menials." Willis continued: "I never realised so forcibily the splendid results of wealth and primogeniture." Just before dinner the Duke called at his room, "an affable white-haired gentleman of noble physiognomy, but singularly cordial address, wearing a broad red ribbon across his breast, and led him through files of servants to a dining room ablaze with gold plate."

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General George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon's Timeline

February 2, 1770
Edinburgh, Edinburghshire, Scotland
March 15, 1804
Age 34
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
May 28, 1836
Age 66
Belgrave Square, London, England
Elgin Cathedral