Earl of Perth

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Earldom of Perth
Earl of Perth arms.svg
Or, three bars wavy Gules
Creation date4 March 1605
Created by King James VI
Peerage Peerage of Scotland
First holderJames, Lord Drummond
Present holderJohn, Earl of Perth
Heir apparentThe Hon. James Drummond
Remainder toheirs male whatsoever
Subsidiary titlesViscount Strathallan
Lord Drummond
Lord Maderty
Thane of Lennox
Steward of Menteith and Strathearn
Chief of the Name and Arms of Drummond
Seat(s) Stobhall

Earl of Perth is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1605 for James Drummond, 4th Lord Drummond. The Drummond family claim descent from Maurice, son of George, a younger son of King Andrew I of Hungary. Maurice arrived in Scotland on the ship which brought Edgar Ætheling, the Saxon claimant to the crown of England after the Norman Conquest, and his sister Margaret to Scotland in 1068. Maurice was given lands in Lennox (Dunbartonshire), together with the hereditary stewardship of the county. The Hungarian Prince theory has been discounted as no evidence of any relationships exists in written records or DNA. "The Red Book of the Menteiths" clearly discounts the Hungarian Prince as a myth likely formed to give status to the Drummond origins. The Drummonds in the 12th Century were allied to the Menteiths – their early fortunes developed through the relationship. Indeed, one "Johannes De Drumon", said to have died in 1301, was buried in Inchmahome Priory which was founded by the Menteiths. His successor John Drummond, the 7th Steward, was deprived of the lands and retired into Perthshire. [1]


John Drummond, Justiciar of Scotia, was created a Lord of Parliament as Lord Drummond of Cargill in 1487–8 by King James III of Scotland. His direct descendant, James, 4th Lord Drummond, Ambassador to Spain, was created Earl of Perth and Lord Drummond of Stobhall in 1605.

James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth was attainted for supporting the Jacobites during the rising of 1715. He had been created Duke of Perth, Marquess of Drummond, Earl of Stobhall, Viscount Cargill, and Lord Concraig in 1701 by the exiled Jacobite claimant to the British thrones, recognised by adherents of the Royal Stuarts as King James III and VIII. This creation, in the Jacobite Peerage, was never recognised by the de facto British government. He and his successors nonetheless continued to claim the Earldom together with the Dukedom. Upon the death of the sixth Duke in 1760, he was succeeded by a second cousin, descended from the younger brother of the 4th Earl and 1st Jacobite Duke, John Drummond, first Earl and Jacobite Duke of Melfort, by his first wife. He, in turn, was succeeded by his third but only surviving son, as the 8th (Jacobite) Duke and 11th de jure Earl, who obtained in 1783 the restoration of the estates, forfeited as a result of the Jacobite rising of 1745. He did not succeed, however, in removing the attainder of 1716, but was created by George III of the Hanoverian dynasty, in 1797, Lord Perth, Baron Drummond of Stobhall, in the Peerage of Great Britain, which title became extinct on his death in 1800. He was succeeded, as 9th Jacobite Duke of Perth by his cousin, James Lewis Drummond, fourth Duke of Melfort, another holder of a Jacobite dukedom. The 10th Duke, who also held the Melfort titles, was a prelate of Roman Catholic Church, known as the Abbé de Melfort. Upon his death in 1840, he was succeeded in his peerage titles by his nephew, George Drummond, who had embraced the Protestant faith.

In 1853, the sixth Duke of Melfort, George Drummond, was by Act of Parliament deemed the 5th Earl of Perth, and the previous attainder was reversed. Drummond also dropped the use of the dukedom of Melfort, although he had been recognised in French law courts as the duc de Melfort, comte de Lussan and baron de Valrose. At his death in 1902, several titles held by him, such as the Earldom of Melfort, became dormant because no-one could prove a claim to the title. The Earldom of Perth, however, as well as the titular Jacobite Dukedom, passed to William Huntly Drummond, 11th Viscount Strathallan (his 7th cousin twice removed, a descendant of the 2nd Lord Drummond). Because some writers do not count the de jure holders of the Earldom in the numbering, the 14th Earl is sometimes referred to as the 5th Earl, and so on. The present Earl of Perth considers himself the 18th holder of the title.

The subsidiary titles held by the Earl of Perth are: Viscount Strathallan (created 1686), Lord Drummond of Cargill (1488), Lord Drummond of Stobhall (1605), Lord Maderty (1609) and Lord Drummond of Cromlix (1686). The title Viscount Strathallan is the courtesy title of the Earl's eldest son and heir. All titles are in the Peerage of Scotland.

The Earl of Perth is the hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Drummond.

The family seat is at Stobhall, near Perth, from the early 14th century.

Lords Drummond of Cargill (1488)

Earls of Perth, Lords Drummond of Stobhall (1605)

Jacobite Dukes of Perth and claimants to the Earldom of Perth (1716–1797)

Lord Perth, Baron Drummond of Stobhall (1797)

Jacobite Dukes of Perth and claimants to the Earldom of Perth (1800–1853)

Earls of Perth (1605, restored 1853)

Present peer

John Eric Drummond, 9th Earl of Perth (born 7 July 1935), titular 15th Duke of Perth in the Jacobite peerage, is the elder son of the 8th Earl and his wife Nancy Fincke, an American. He grew up at Stobhall, near Stanley, Perthshire. [2] He was educated at Downside School, Trinity College, Cambridge, and Harvard University, where he graduated M.B.A. On 7 January 1963 he married Margaret Anne Gordon, a daughter of Robin Gordon, and they had three children before divorcing in 1972. [3]

In 1988 Perth married secondly Marion Verity Grey Elliot, née Eton. [3]


  1. Brown, Peter The Peerage of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1834: 98.
  2. Obituary: The Earl of Perth, Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2002, accessed 21 January 2023 (subscription required)
  3. 1 2 “Perth 18th Earl of, cr 1605 (John Eric Drummond) (Baron Drummond of Cargill, 1488; Baron Maderty, 1609; Baron Drummond, 1686; Lord Drummond of Gilston, 1685; Lord Drummond of Rickertoun and Castlemaine, 1686; Viscount Strathallan, 1686; Hereditary Thane of Lennox and Hereditary Steward of Menteith and Strathearn)” in Who’s Who, online edition, accessed 21 January 2023 (subscription required)

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