Dalkeith Palace

Last updated

Coordinates: 55°53′58″N3°4′4″W / 55.89944°N 3.06778°W / 55.89944; -3.06778

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.


Dalkeith Palace in January 2004 Dalkeith Palace.jpg
Dalkeith Palace in January 2004

Dalkeith Palace in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland, is a historic house and the former seat of the Duke of Buccleuch. The present house was built in 1702 on the site of an earlier castle.

Dalkeith town in Midlothian, Scotland

Dalkeith is a town in Midlothian, Scotland, on the River Esk. It was granted a burgh of barony in 1401 and a burgh of regality in 1540. The settlement of Dalkeith grew southwestwards from its 12th-century castle . Dalkeith has a population of 12,342 people according to the 2011 census.

Midlothian Council area of Scotland

Midlothian is a historic county, registration county, lieutenancy area and one of 32 council areas of Scotland used for local government. Midlothian lies in the east-central Lowlands, bordering the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

Duke of Buccleuch Scottish title of nobility

The title Duke of Buccleuch, formerly also spelt Duke of Buccleugh, is a title in the Peerage of Scotland created twice on 20 April 1663, first for James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and second suo jure for his wife Anne Scott, 4th Countess of Buccleuch. Monmouth, the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II was attainted after his 1685 rebellion, but his wife's title was unaffected and passed on to their descendants, who have successively borne the surnames Scott, Montagu-Scott, Montagu Douglas Scott and Scott again. In 1810, the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch inherited the Dukedom of Queensberry, also in the Peerage of Scotland, thus separating that title from the Marquessate of Queensberry.

The medieval castle and the collegiate church

Dalkeith Castle was located to the north east of Dalkeith, and was originally in the hands of the Clan Graham in the 12th century and given to the Clan Douglas in the early 14th century. James Douglas of Dalkeith became the Earl of Morton in the mid 15th century. The castle was strategically located in an easily defensible position above a bend in the River North Esk. Nearer the centre of Dalkeith, James Douglas, 1st Lord Dalkeith, endowed the collegiate church in 1406, where Douglas earls, lords, and knights were buried.

Clan Graham

Clan Graham is a Scottish clan who had territories in both the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands.

Clan Douglas Scottish Lowland Clan

Clan Douglas is an ancient clan or noble house from the Scottish Lowlands.

Earl of Morton

The title Earl of Morton was created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1458 for James Douglas of Dalkeith. Along with it, the title Lord Aberdour was granted. This latter title is the courtesy title for the eldest son and heir to the Earl of Morton.

Margaret Tudor, the bride of King James IV of Scots, stayed here as the guest of the Earl of Morton before her formal entry to Edinburgh in 1503. [1] In 1543, David, Cardinal Beaton, the Archbishop of St Andrews, was imprisoned in Dalkeith Castle. The castle was captured during the war of the Rough Wooing by the English soldiers James Wilford and Thomas Wyndham on 3 June 1548. [2]

Margaret Tudor Queen consort of Scots

Margaret Tudor was Queen of Scots from 1503 until 1513 by marriage to James IV of Scotland and then, after her husband died fighting the English, she became regent for their son James V of Scotland from 1513 until 1515. She was born at Westminster Palace as the eldest daughter of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and granddaughter of Margaret Beaufort, Edward IV of England and Queen Elizabeth Woodville. Margaret Tudor had several pregnancies, but most of her children died young or were stillborn. As queen dowager she married Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. Through her first and second marriages, respectively, Margaret was the grandmother of both Mary, Queen of Scots, and Mary's second husband, Lord Darnley. Margaret's marriage in 1503 to James IV linked the royal houses of England and Scotland, which a century later resulted in the Union of the Crowns. Upon his ascent to the English throne, Margaret's great-grandson, James VI and I, was the first person to be monarch of both Scotland and England.

James IV of Scotland King of Scotland

James IV was the King of Scotland from 11 June 1488 to his death. He assumed the throne following the death of his father, King James III, at the Battle of Sauchieburn, a rebellion in which the younger James played an indirect role. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended in a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden. He was the last monarch from the island of Great Britain to be killed in battle.

John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton Earl of Morton

John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton died 9 September 1513 at the Battle of Flodden.

From June 1574, Regent Morton, who had been captured at the siege of 1548, extended the castle and palace. [3] When James VI of Scotland reached his majority in October 1579, following celebrations in Edinburgh, Morton entertained the young King at Dalkeith Palace. [4] James VI and Anne of Denmark frequently stayed at the castle. While they were in residence in August 1592, a prisoner John Wemyss of Logie escaped through their bedchamber, helped by the queen's servant, Margaret Winstar. [5] In 1598 the royal master of work William Schaw prepared a nusery and Princess Margaret was born in the Palace on Christmas Eve. [6] Some repairs were carried out in 1599 by Michael Schaw, cousin of William Schaw, and chamberlain of the Earl of Morton in Dalkeith, who had the brewhouse, gates, and drawbridge repaired, and bought food for a Douglas family wedding. [7]

James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton Regent of Scotland

James Douglas,4th Earl of Morton was the last of the four regents of Scotland during the minority of King James VI. He was in some ways the most successful of the four, since he won the civil war that had been dragging on with the supporters of the exiled Mary, Queen of Scots. However, he came to an unfortunate end, executed by means of the Maiden, a predecessor of the guillotine, which he himself was said to have introduced to Scotland.

Anne of Denmark Queen consort of Scotland

Anne of Denmark was Queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland by marriage to King James VI and I.

John Wemyss younger of Logie, (1569-1596), Scottish courtier, spy, and subject of the ballad "The Laird o Logie".

The building is called a palace in part because Dalkeith Castle was the 'caput', the 'head' or place where the courts of the Regality of Dalkeith were held. [8] According to the heraldic writer Alexander Nisbet, the caput of a regality was technically termed a 'palatium', as a seat of royal authority. [9] Its appearance was recorded in an engraving c.1690 by John Slezer.

Palace grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state

A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop.

Caput, a Latin word meaning literally "head" and by metonymy "top", has been borrowed in a variety of English words, including capital, captain, and decapitate. The surname Caputo, common in the Campania region of Italy, comes from the appellation used by some Roman military generals. A variant form has surfaced more recently in the title Capo, the head of La Cosa Nostra. The French language converted 'caput' into chief, chef, and chapitre, later borrowed in English as chapter.

Alexander Nisbet Scottish heraldist

Alexander Nisbet was a Scottish lawyer and antiquarian. He is remembered for his works on the subject of heraldry, which are generally considered to be some of the most complete and authoritative ever produced in the British Isles.

The Dukes of Buccleuch and the 1702 house

In 1642, Dalkeith Castle was sold by the Douglas family to Francis Scott, 2nd Earl of Buccleuch.

The statue of the Duke of Wellington, by Thomas Campbell, located at the base of the Great Staircase in Dalkeith Palace. Dalkeith Palace, statue of Duke of Wellington.jpg
The statue of the Duke of Wellington, by Thomas Campbell, located at the base of the Great Staircase in Dalkeith Palace.

The 2nd Earl of Buccleuch's daughter married the Duke of Monmouth, eldest illegitimate son of King Charles II. They became the Duke and Duchess of Monmouth & Buccleuch. After the Duke of Monmouth had been executed for treason, Anne Scott, his widow, who held the Scottish title in her own right, asked architect James Smith to use William of Orange's Palace of Het Loo in the Netherlands as a model for the new Dalkeith Palace.

Smith and his cousins, Gilbert and James, signed the contract for mason work at Dalkeith Castle in March 1702. Construction of Dalkeith Palace began later that year, Smith deciding to incorporate a portion of the tower house of the old castle into the western side of the new structure. The outline of the old tower walls is still visible in the western facade of the palace today.

Original 1743 builder's stamp in the lead roof of Dalkeith Palace, Spring 2004. Dalkeith Palace lead roof stamp.jpg
Original 1743 builder's stamp in the lead roof of Dalkeith Palace, Spring 2004.

In 1704, William Walker and Benjamin Robinson, the chamberlain of the Duchess, went to London with a small party to choose items of furniture for the palace. Construction was proceeding at a steady pace, and the main portion of the palace was roofed by the end of 1705. The London marble-cutter Richard Neale spent sixty-four weeks at the palace with nine assistants between 1709 and 1711, carving the main stairwell and screen of the Great Staircase. Several marble chimney pieces were installed, as well as an intricately carved marble bas-relief of Neptune and Galatea. This internally extensive use of marble was very much the taste of the Duchess. The majority of construction was complete by 1711.

The south front of Dalkeith Palace in 2011, showing pilasters and pediment. Dalkeith Palace in 2011.jpg
The south front of Dalkeith Palace in 2011, showing pilasters and pediment.

Finishing touches on the Palace complex included adding a wrought iron screen with freestone piers (no longer existing) around the forecourt, a great deal of planting, and the laying out of a great avenue through the park. Dalkeith Park itself was a large area of manicured trees and gardens which in later years would include the Montagu Bridge over the North Esk River and the Dalkeith Conservatory and a grassed amphitheatre. When the final calculations were made, it was determined that the construction of Dalkeith Palace had cost the Duchess a total of Stg £17,727.

The plumber John Scott of Edinburgh re-plated the roof in lead in 1743. Some minor additions were carried out in the following years. John Adam resurfaced the building in 1762 and James Playfair inserted a low window into the east facade in 1786.

Overall, the Palace is built of sandstone and has the main entrance on the south front, flanked on each side by two Corinthian order pilasters. These are surmounted by a bracketed pediment unusual for its depth. The layout of Dalkeith Palace was unusual for the time in that the state apartment was located on the ground floor, which prevented the Great Dining Room from being placed in its customary position at the start of the state apartment. As such, the Great Dining Room was placed on the first floor, still suitable for important occasions and also serving as an anteroom to another apartment on the first floor.

Subsequent history

World War II-era graffiti on the third floor wallpaper of Dalkeith Palace, Spring 2004. Dalkeith Graffiti.jpg
World War II-era graffiti on the third floor wallpaper of Dalkeith Palace, Spring 2004.

The 5th Duke of Buccleuch considered extensive rebuilding in 1831 and William Burn produced unexecuted designs in Jacobean style. More minor alterations were carried out, together with improvements to the surrounding estate including a new house and offices for the Duke's Chamberlain, and the construction, for the 5th Duke, of St Mary's Church as a private chapel by William Burn and David Bryce. The church contains one of only two water-powered organs in Scotland.

Dalkeith Palace in 1880 DalkeithPalace Morris edited.jpg
Dalkeith Palace in 1880

Several well-known figures from English and Scottish history have been guests at the Palace in the intervening centuries. Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed two nights at Dalkeith in 1745, King George IV slept here during his visit to Edinburgh in 1822, in preference to Holyroodhouse Palace which was in a poor state, as did Queen Victoria in 1842. During World War II, Polish troops of the 3rd Flanders Rifle Brigade, part of the 1st Polish Armoured Division, were quartered on the third floor of Dalkeith Palace from 1942 onwards. Graffiti drawn by these troops is still visible on the third floor wallpaper of the Palace as of 2008.

Dalkeith Palace in 2008 Dalkeith Palace 2008.jpg
Dalkeith Palace in 2008

Dalkeith Palace has not been lived in by the Buccleuch family since 1914. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Dalkeith Palace was used as a research and development office by the computer firm International Computers Ltd. (ICL), which leased the Palace until 1983. Since 1985 it has been leased to the University of Wisconsin system for a study abroad programme. Approximately 60-80 students a semester live in the palace, where they also take classes from UK and US faculty members.

See also


  1. Leland, John, De Rebus Britannicis Collectanea, .., ed., Hearne, Thomas, vol. 4, (1770), pp. 258-300.
  2. Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1898), p. 115.
  3. Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol.4 (1905), p.680, (building work noted June 1574)
  4. Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol.5 (1907), p.358 no.434.
  5. Calendar State Papers Scotland, vol. 10 (Edinburgh, 1936), pp. 752-5: Calendar of Border Papers, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1894), p. 405.
  6. Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 13 (Edinburgh, 1969), p. 362: Letters to King James the Sixth from the Queen, Prince Henry, Prince Charles etc (Edinburgh, 1835), p. lxxii-lxxiii.
  7. Margaret H. B. Sanderson, Mary Stewart's People (Edinburgh, 1987), p. 69-70.
  8. charter of novodamus of the Regality, 20/6/1589, Register of the Great Seal, RMS, vol.5, no.1674
  9. Nisbet, Alexander, System of Heraldry, vol.2 (repr. 1984), Part IV, p. 46
  10. Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1881, Gunnis

Related Research Articles

Louisa Jane Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry was the daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn. In 1884, she became the Duchess of Buccleuch and Duchess of Queensberry, the wife of William Henry Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch & 8th Duke of Queensberry. She was the paternal grandmother of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester and of Marian Louisa, Lady Elmhirst, as well as the maternal great-grandmother of Prince William of Gloucester, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and great-great-grandmother of Sarah, Duchess of York.

John Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch British politician

Walter Francis John Montagu Douglas Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch and 11th Duke of Queensberry, was a Scottish Peer, politician, and landowner. He served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in the Second World War, and represented Edinburgh North in the House of Commons for 13 years.

Clan Scott Border clan

Clan Scott is a Scottish clan and is recognised as such by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. Historically the clan was based in the Scottish Borders.

Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch 18th/19th-century Scottish noble

Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch and 5th Duke of Queensberry KG FRSE was a Scottish nobleman and long-time friend of Sir Walter Scott. He is the paternal 3rd great-grandfather of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, and the maternal 4th great-grandfather of Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

Anne Scott, 1st Duchess of Buccleuch Scottish peeress

Anne Scott, 1st Duchess of Buccleuch was a wealthy Scottish peer.

William Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch Political pamphlet containing blank pages

William Henry Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch and 8th Duke of Queensberry was a Scottish Member of Parliament and peer. He was the paternal grandfather of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, and the maternal great-grandfather of Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester. He was a paternal great-great-grandfather to Sarah, Duchess of York.

Francis Scott, 2nd Duke of Buccleuch 2nd Duke of Buccleuch

Francis Scott, 2nd Duke of Buccleuch, KT, FRS was a Scottish nobleman.

Richard Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch Scottish nobleman, b. 1954

Richard Walter John Montagu Douglas Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch and 12th Duke of Queensberry,, styled as Lord Eskdaill until 1973 and as Earl of Dalkeith from 1973 until 2007, is a Scottish landholder and peer. He is the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, as well as Chief of Clan Scott. He is the heir male of James, Duke of Monmouth, the eldest illegitimate son of King Charles II and his mistress, Lucy Walter.

John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Hamilton was a Scottish nobleman.

William Schaw was Master of Works to James VI of Scotland for building castles and palaces, and is claimed to have been an important figure in the development of Freemasonry in Scotland.

James Scott, Earl of Dalkeith Scottish noble

Sir James Scott, Earl of Dalkeith KT was an English nobleman and politician. He was the son of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and Anne Scott, 1st Duchess of Buccleuch. He was also the grandson of Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland. On 2 January 1693/94 he married Lady Henrietta Hyde, daughter of Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester and Henrietta Hyde, Countess of Rochester. They had six children:

  1. Francis Scott, 2nd Duke of Buccleuch married (1) Lady Jane Douglas (2) Alice Powell
  2. Anne
  3. Charlotte
  4. Charles
  5. (name unknown)
  6. Henry

The Battle of Carberry Hill took place on 15 June 1567, near Musselburgh, East Lothian, a few miles east of Edinburgh, Scotland. A number of Scottish lords objected to the rule of Mary, Queen of Scots after she had married the Earl of Bothwell, who was widely believed to have murdered her previous husband Lord Darnley. The Lords were intent to avenge Darnley's death. However, Bothwell escaped from the stand-off at Carberry while Queen Mary surrendered. Mary abdicated, escaped from prison, and was defeated at the battle of Langside. She went to exile in England while her supporters continued a civil war in Scotland.

George Seton, 7th Lord Seton Lord of the Parliament of Scotland

George Seton V, 7th Lord Seton (1531–1586) was a Lord of the Parliament of Scotland, Master of the Household of Mary, Queen of Scots and Provost of Edinburgh. He was the eldest son of George Seton, 6th Lord Seton and Elizabeth Hay, a daughter of John Hay, 3rd Lord Hay of Yester. His childhood and schooling were in France.

George Douglas of Pittendreich was a member of the powerful Red Douglas family who struggled for control of the young James V of Scotland in 1528. His second son became James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton and Regent of Scotland. Initially, George Douglas promoted the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots and Prince Edward of England. After war was declared between England and Scotland he worked for peace and to increase the power of Mary of Guise, the widow of James V.

Thomas Campbell (sculptor) Scottish sculptor

Thomas Campbell was a Scottish sculptor in the early 19th century. He has several important public works, most notably a statue of Sarah Siddons in Westminster Abbey. He also has several works in the National Gallery in London. He was heavily patronised by the British aristocracy, as evidenced by his works.

Marie Stewart, Countess of Mar, was a Scottish courtier.