Elizabeth, 10th Countess of Sutherland

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Elizabeth Sutherland

Also Known As: "Elizabeth de Moravia", "10th Countess of Sutherland", "Gordon"
Birthdate: (55)
Birthplace: Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland
Death: Died in Aboyne Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Place of Burial: Aboyne, Aberdeen, Scotland 1
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John, 8th Earl of Sutherland and Finvola MacDonald
Wife of Adam Gordon, Lord of Aboyne
Mother of Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland; John Gordon, of Grummay; Gilbert Gordon, of Garty; Elizabeth Gordon; Beatrix Gordon-Sutherland and 2 others
Sister of John, 9th Earl of Sutherland
Half sister of Alexander Sutherland

Occupation: 10th Countess of Sutherland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth, 10th Countess of Sutherland

In 1517 Elizabeth de Moravia, 10th Countess of Sutherland married Adam Gordon, son of Gordon of Huntly. Their son Alexander Gordon would become the legal heir to the Earldom of Sutherland and overall chieftainship of the Clan Sutherland.

Burke's Peerage entry.

1a ELIZABETH Sutherland, Countess of Sutherland in her own right; married c 1500 Adam Gordon of Aboyne (died 17 March 1537/8), 2nd son of 2nd Earl of Huntly (see HUNTLY, M), who accordingly was styled Earl of Sutherland; she resigned the Earldom 10 Nov 1527 to their eldest son, though reserving the life-rent to herself and her husband, and died Sept 1535, having had, with four daughters:

  • 1b Alexander, Master of Sutherland; born c 1501; married c 16 June 1520 Lady Janet Stewart (married 2nd by 13 May 1532 Sir Hew Kennedy of Girvanmains, Ayrshire; married 3rd by 4 Nov 1544 1st Lord Methven (see MORAY, E); married 4th 3rd Lord Ruthven, see CARLISLE, E), eldest daughter of 2nd Earl of Atholl of the 1457 created (see MORAY, E), and died in the lifetime of the father & vm 15 Jan 1529/30, having had:
  • 1c JOHN, 11th Earl
  • 2c Alexander, killed by a fall from his horse at Elgin 1552
  • 1c Janet; married 1537 Sir Patrick Dunbar of Cumnock and Westfield in Moray
  • 2c Beatrice; married William Sinclair of Dunbeath and died 1529
  • 2b John, whose only child married George Gordon of Cochlarachie
  • 3b Adam; killed Battle of Pinkie 10 Sept 1547
  • 4b Gilbert, of Garty; married Isabel (persuaded by her cousin the 4th Earl of Caithness (qv), long an enemy of the Earls of Sutherland, to poison her nephew-in-law the 11th Earl, his wife and son when they were her guests at her house of Helmsdale; supposedly committed sucide in prison while awaiting trial for their murder), daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Dunbeath, and had issue

http://www26.us.archive.org/stream/heraldryofmurray00john#page/6/mode/2up Page 6 No 23

(23) Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, died 1535. She married Adam Gordon, second son of George, Earl of Huntly. Their descendants of the name of Gordon were the tenth to the seventeenth Earls of Sutherland. The only daughter of the last Gordon Earl married, in 1785, George, second Marquis of Stafford, who was created Duke of Sutherland in 1833, and their great-grandson is the fourth Duke and twenty-first Earl of Sutherland.


Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland (son of John, 8th Earl of Sutherland)

Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland, who became such after her brother John's death. Little is recorded of her before that date except her marriage, which, Sir Robert Gordon says, took place in 1500, to Adam Gordon, second son of George, second Earl of Huntly. In July 1509 her half-brother Alexander, by advice of his curators, resigned his right to the earldom in favour of her brother John and herself. Two months earlier it was proposed to infeft Elizabeth as heir of her father,[1] but this plan was abandoned, and her brother John was served heir, as already stated. The steps taken as to Earl John's incapacity have already been indicated, and his death in July 1514 opened the succession to Elizabeth. After some preliminary proceedings she was, on 3 October 1514, served heir to her brother as the last holder of the earldom. Her half-brother Alexander sent a procurator to Inverness to oppose the service, alleging an entail by royal charter of the lands and earldom of Sutherland. But he did not produce it, and the jury duly made the service.[2] The precept for her infeftment in the earldom was, however, not issued till May 1515, and she was finally infeft on 30 June 1515.[3] After this she and her husband were styled Earl and Countess of Sutherland.[4] In September 1516 Dunrobin Castle was in the hands of Alexander Sutherland, and the Earl and Countess entered into an agreement with the Earl of Caithness that he should aid in recovery of the fortress.[5] Another friendly agreement was made on 31 July 1517 with Y Mackay, and renewed in August 1519 with his son John Mackay, whose good offices were also desired against Sutherland. Notwithstanding this, Alexander again seized Dunrobin, and the Earl of Caithness was called on to fulfil his bargain, which he apparently did, though reluctantly. As a result of these troubles the Countess and her husband seem to have resided very little in their earldom, and after 1524 they devolved the cares of administration largely on their eldest son Alexander, Master of Sutherland, who took much part in affairs before they resigned the earldom in his favour in November 1527. Other notices of the Earl and Countess are not of special importance. The Countess died in September 1535, at Aboyne, and the Earl died on 17 March 1537-38, at Ferrar, near Aboyne, and they were both buried there. The Earl and Countess had issue, for which see under Gordon.

  • [1] Ibid., 40.
  • [2] Ibid., 56. In August 1517 and February 1517-18 Alexander applied for a writ of error against the jury, but failed to pursue the action; Acta Dom. Conc., xxx. 159, 208.
  • [3] Sutherland Book, iii. 57-60.
  • [4] Cf. Ibid., 61.
  • [5] Ibid., 63-67.

Sources: Balfour Paul, J. (1911) The Scots Peerage, vol. 8. Edinburgh: David Douglas.

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Elizabeth, 10th Countess of Sutherland's Timeline

Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland
Age 21
Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland (Present Aberdeenshire), Scotland, (Present UK)
Age 25
Probably Sutherland, Scotland, (Present UK)
Age 29
Probably Dunrobin, Sutherland, Scotland, (Present UK)
Age 31
Probably Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland (Present Aberdeenshire), Scotland, (Present UK)
Age 33
Probably Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland (Present Aberdeenshire), Scotland, (Present UK)
Age 35
Dunrobin, Sutherland, Scotland
Age 45
Dunrobin, Sutherland, Scotland
September 1535
Age 55
Aboyne Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland