WEEMS or WEMYSS
The following is from the book THE GREENING PEERAGE OF SCOTLAND 1867, A genealogical and historical account of all the peers of that ancient kingdom.
The following is from pages 285 - 288
WEMYSS, Earl of WEMYSS
This family name is local, and was first assumed by the proprietors of land called (of old) Wemyss-shire, containing all that track lying between the lower part of the water of Ore and the sea. They are descended of Hugo, second son of Gillimichael, fourth earl of Fife, and a great grandson of Macduff, the first earl. The said Hugo had a son, Hugo, who was succeeded by his son, Sir John, who first assumed the sir-name of Wemyss. His son, Michael, had a son, another Sir John, who was succeeded by his eldest son, another Sir Michael, who was sent on an embassy to Norway, to bring home the princess Margaret of Norway, undoubted heir of the crown of Scotland, after the death of Alexander III. This embassy was in the year 1290; but on their return with the princess, to the universal misfortune of the nation, she died at Orkneys; and thereupon happened the fatal competition between Bruce and Baliol, about the right of succeeding, which was at length settled upon the latter. His successor, Sir David, in the time of king Robert I. was one of those great men of the kingdom, who wrote that letter to the Pope, asserting the independency of their country; so rare a piece of antiquity, that it deserves to be wrote in characters of gold, and preserved to all posterity: And this David obtaining from the king, by charter, the lands of Glasnock, was therein succeeded by Sir Michael, his son.
Which Sir Michael obtained a grant from Duncan earl of Fife, of the lands of Easter Monikie, and Wester Drone; and had three sons, of whom the second, Sir John, was of Rires and Kincaldrum, of whom hereafter: his eldest son, David, was succeeded by his son, Sir David, who having issue only one daughter, gave his estate to Sir John Wemyss, his undoubted heir male, grandson of the above Sir John of Rires, his uncle. His daughter was wife of Sir John de Inchmartin; and the said Sir John marrying Isabel, daughter and coheir of Sir Allen Erskine of Inchmartin, by which marriage the lines, male and female, of this noble family, were cited, by her had Sir David, his heir; Duncan; and Alexander, ancestor of Wemyss of Lathocker: and two daughters, Elizabeth, married to Sir Andrew Gray of Fouls, ancestor of the lord Gray; and Eupheme, to Sir William Livingston of Drumray.
Sir David, his successor, married Christian, daughter of Sir William Douglas of Lochleven, and by her had Sir John Wemyss, whose wife was Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Livingston of Drumray, and by her he had issue Sir John, his heir, who by Christian his wife, a daughter of the family of Abernathy, was father of Sir David Wemyss, who in 1511 obtained a charter from king James IV. for erecting his lands into the barony of Wemyss; and being slain with the said king at the battle of Floddon, in Northumberland, left a son, Sir David, who succeeded him, and married Catharine, daughter of Henry lord Sinclair, by whom he had Sir John, his successor; and James Wemyss of Caskbierry; and the said Sir John marrying Margaret, daughter of Sir David Otterburn of Redhall, by her had Sir David, his heir; and four daughters, of whom Eupheme was married to Sir David Carnegie of Coluthie, ancestor of the earl of Southesk. He married secondly, Janet, daughter of Alexander Trail of Blebo, by whom he had Gavin Wemyss of Powguilmd, who married Catharine Wemyss, heiress of Winthank, of whom the Wemys’s, now of Winthank, are descended.
Sir David, the eldest son, who in 1571 succeeded his father, married Cecil, daughter of William, second earl Ruthann, and by her had five sons and five daughters, viz. Sir John; Sir James; of Bogie, ancestor of the Wemyss’s of Bogie, and those of Ireland; David, ancestor of the Wemys’s of Fingask; Henry, of the Wemys’s of Foodie; Patrick, of those of Rumgay, Craighall, &. Margaret, wife of James Bethune of Creich; Cecilia, of ––– Kinnynmouth of that ilk; Jane, of James Macgill of Rankeillor; Elizabeth, of Alexander Wood of Lamyletham; and Isabel, of John Auchmoutie of that ilk. He died in 1591, and was succeeded by his eldest son.
Sir John, who by his second wife, Anne Stewart, daughter of James lord Down, had issue David, his heir; Sir John, after earl of Wemyss; and four daughters, Cecilia, married to William, second earl of Tullibardin; Janet, to Robert lord Colvil; Isabel, to Hugh Fraser, eighth lord Lovat; and Catharine, to John Haldane of Gleneagles. He died 1616, and was succeeded by his second son, John; his eldest son, David, who died before him, by lady Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew, earl of Rothes, having no issue.
The said Sir John being in great favor with king Charles I. was by him, in May 1625, created a baronet, and afterwards, in 1628, lord Elcho, and earl of Wemyss, in 1633. He married Jane, daughter of Patrick, seventh lord Gray; and dying in 1653, by her left David, his successor; and five daughters, lady Mary, married to John, the sixth lord Sinclair; lady Ann, to Sir Mungo Murray, viscount Storming; and lady Jane, to Harry Maule, second son of Patrick, the fifth earl of Panmure, in Scotland; lady Elizabeth,to Sir John Ayton of the ilk; and lady Catharine, of Sir David Carnegie of Craig. He died in 1649, and was succeeded by his son, David, second earl, who married first, Jane, daughter of Robert Balfour, lord Burleigh, by whom he had lady Jane, who married first, to Archibald earl of Angus; and secondly, to George earl of Sutherland. He married secondly, Lady Eleanora, daughter of John earl of Wigton, without issue; and thirdly, lady Margaret, daughter of John earl of Rothes, widow first, of Alexander lord Bagony; and secondly, of Francis Scot, earl of Buccleugh; and had another daughter, lady Margaret, who in 1680 became countess of Wemyss, as successor to her father, but the title of baronet ceased.
Which lady Margaret continued the honor; and marrying Sir James Wemyss, descended from James Wemyss of Caskbierry, before-mentioned, he, by the favour of king Charles II. was honored with the title of lord Burntisland, in Fife, during life; and dying in 1685, left by the said countess his wife, David, their heir; and two daughters, lady Ann, married to David Lesley, earl of Leven and Melvil; and lady Margaret, to David Carnegie, earl of Northesk. The countess died in 1705, and was succeeded by her son,
David, third earl, who was one of the privy council to Queen Anne, by whom he was constituted lord admiral of Scotland, as also one of the commissioners for the treaty of union with England. He was elected to represent the peerage of Scotland in the first and second British parliaments; and marrying first, lady Anne, daughter of William duke of Queensberry, by whom he had issue David, lord Elcho, who died in the 17th year of his age, unmarried; and James, late earl. His second wife was Mary, daughter of Sir John Robertson of Farringwood, in Northamptonshire, Bart. but by her had no issue. His third wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Henry lord Sinclair, by whom he had two daughters, lady Elizabeth, wife of William earl of Sutherland, mother of the late earl; and lady Margaret, of James earl of Murray. He deceased in 1720, and was succeeded by his only surviving son.
James, fourth earl of Wemyss, who married Janet, daughter and heir of colonel Francis Charteris of Misfield, by whom he had issue three sons and four daughters, viz. 1. David, lord Elcho, who having engaged in the rebellion of 1745, was attainted of treason, but escaped to France; 2. Francis-Charteris, who succeeded to his grandfather’s estate at Misfield, &. and married lady Catharine, daughter of Alexander duke of Gordon, by whom he had issue one son; 3. James, who now represents the family. The four daughters were lady Francis, wife of Sire James Stewart of Goodtrees, Bart. lady Walpole, of –––– ; lady Anne, of Sir John Hamilton of Barney, Esq; and lady Helen, of Hugh Dalrymple of Fordel Esq; David lord Elcho, on account of his attainder, being incapable of succeeding, his lordship made a conveyance of his estate favor of his third son, James, in which he was succeeded by him in 1756.
Which James Wemyss, now of Wemyss, Esq.; is member in the present parliament for Fifeshire, &. and married lady Elizabeth, daughter of William earl of Sutherland, by whom he has issue three sons, James, William, and David.
TITLES were.] James Wemyss, earl of Wemyss, lord Elcho, &c.
CREATIONS.] Lord Elcho, April 1, 1628; earl of Wemyss, May 25, 1633.
ARMS.] Topaz, a lion rampant, ruby, armed and languid, sapphire.
CREST.] On a wreath, a swan, proper.
SUPPORTERS.] Two swans, as the crest.
MOTTO.] Je pense.
CHIEF SEATS.] Wemyss, in Fifeshire; and Elcho, near Perth.
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