|South of Jedburgh, Scotland|
Ferniehirst Castle, keep
|Owner||Lord Ralph Kerr|
|Built by||Clan Kerr|
|Battles/wars||occupied by the English in 1547-49 during the Rough Wooing|
Ferniehirst Castle (sometimes spelled Ferniehurst) is an L-shaped construction on the east bank of the Jed Water, about a mile and a half south of Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, and in the former county of Roxburghshire. It is an ancient seat of the Clan Kerr, and after a period of institutional use it was restored for residential use by Peter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian, in the late 20th century.
The original castle, built by the Ker (or Kerr) family around 1470, was occupied by English forces in 1547, during the war of the Rough Wooing. The English were dislodged by a force of Sir John Ker's clansmen, and the Earl of Huntly reinforced by André de Montalembert and French auxiliaries led by Captain Pierre Longue in February 1549. The gate was fired, then Montalembert d'Essé brought more artillery and the soldiers set about the wall with picks and mattocks. The French soldier Jean de Beaugué described the recapture and the fate of the English captain and garrison,and the aristocrat and priest Alexander Gordon wrote an eyewitness account. An English army led by the Duke of Rutland recaptured the castle in June 1549, but the war was nearly over.
The exiled Countess of Northumberland stayed at Ferniehirst Castle in January 1570.
Ferniehirst was damaged by an English raid on 18 April 1570, after Sir Thomas Ker had raided northern England, which was also intended to intimidate the supporters of Mary Queen of Scots.Another English army damaged it in 1573 on their way to Edinburgh Castle. James VI attacked the castle in 1593 as the Kers had assisted Francis Stewart, 1st Earl of Bothwell, who had conspired against the king. The Kers were for a long period Wardens of the Middle and East Marches. As the building had been undermined, reconstruction of the castle began in 1598.
The castle was unused in the 18th century, and re-roofed and repaired circa 1830, with a further major restoration of a part of it in 1890. It was used as a Scottish Youth Hostels Association hostel from 1934 to 1984, apart from during the Second World War, when it was requisitioned as a billet for troops. In 1988 major repairs, restoration, and alterations were carried out by Peter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian, and the castle is once again a private home. It is currently used by his second son, Lord Ralph Kerr, who also owns Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire, and is the heir presumptive to the marquessate as his elder brother the 13th Marquess, the politician Michael Ancram, has no sons (though he has two daughters). The castle is open to the public during July. It is a category A listed building.
The Ker Chapel, dating from the 17th century, is part of the property. Probably originally a mortuary chapel, it was re-roofed in 1938 and had restrained conversion and repair in 1988. It is now in use as a visitor centre and is also a category A listed building.
The shorter arm of this L-plan fortalice is the 16th-century tower, containing the stair turret. The turnpike stair is in a spiral, corbelled out in the angle: apparently more for elegance than for necessity. There are many shot-holes, allowing a wide angle for musket fire, and of the more restricted shut-holes used for ventilation.
The stair spirals counter-clockwise and is known as the "left-handed staircase" as it would put right-handed attackers at a disadvantage. The story is that in 1513 when the left-handed Sir Andrew Kerr came back from the Battle of Flodden, he had his men learn to use their left hands when swordfighting. In Scotland, left-handedness has been dubbed "Corrie-fisted" or "Kerr-handed".
Ferniehirst also has a romantic array of conically-capped corner turrets. These – known as studies – are not primarily defensive: they open from the rooms of the upper floor. There is some Renaissance decoration around the windows and doors. The castle is approached through a classically-styled archway.
Marquess of Lothian is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1701 for Robert Kerr, 4th Earl of Lothian. The Marquess of Lothian holds the subsidiary titles of Earl of Lothian, Earl of Lothian, Earl of Ancram (1633), Earl of Ancram, Viscount of Briene (1701), Lord Newbattle (1591), Lord Jedburgh (1622), Lord Kerr of Newbattle (1631), Lord Kerr of Nisbet, Langnewtoun, and Dolphinstoun (1633), Lord Kerr of Newbattle, Oxnam, Jedburgh, Dolphinstoun and Nisbet (1701), and Baron Ker, of Kersheugh in the County of Roxburgh (1821), all but the last in the Peerage of Scotland. As The Lord Ker in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, previous Marquesses sat in the House of Lords before 1963, when Scottish peers first sat in the House of Lords in their own right. The holder of the title is also the Chief of Clan Kerr.
Clan Kerr is a Scottish clan whose origins lie in the Scottish Borders. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the prominent border reiver clans along the present-day Anglo-Scottish border and played an important role in the history of the Border country of Scotland.
Peter Francis Walter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian, was a Scottish peer, politician and landowner. He was the son of Captain Andrew William Kerr by his wife, Marie Kerr. Both of his parents were male-line descendants of William Kerr, 5th Marquess of Lothian.
Mark Kerr, 1st Earl of Lothian was a Scottish nobleman and politician. He became the first Earl of Lothian in 1606.
Sir Robert Kerr, 1st Earl of Ancram, was a Scottish nobleman, English politician and writer.
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This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Roxburghshire. The office was replaced by the Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale in 1975.
William Kerr, 3rd Marquess of Lothian, was a Scottish nobleman, styled Master of Jedburgh from 1692 to 1703 and Lord Jedburgh from 1703 to 1722.
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Hume Castle is the heavily modified remnants of a late 12th- or early 13th-century castle of enceinte held by the powerful Hume or Home family, Wardens of the Eastern March who became successively the Lords Home and the Earls of Home. The village of Hume is located between Greenlaw and Kelso, two miles north of the village of Stichill, in Berwickshire, Scotland.. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, recorded as such by Historic Environment Scotland.
Newbattle Abbey was a Cistercian monastery near the village of Newbattle in Midlothian, Scotland, which subsequently become a stately home and then an educational institution.
Antonella Kerr, Marchioness of Lothian, also known as Tony Lothian, was an Italian-born British aristocrat, journalist and writer.
Monteviot House is the early 18th century home of the Marquess of Lothian, the politician better known as Michael Ancram. It is located on the River Teviot near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland.
The Sieges of Haddington were a series of sieges staged at the Royal Burgh of Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland, as part of the War of the Rough Wooing one of the last Anglo-Scottish Wars. Following Regent Arran's defeat at the battle of Pinkie Cleugh on Saturday 10 September 1547, he took Haddington, with 5000 troops including French mercenaries and troops sent by Henry II of France to bolster the Auld Alliance. Afterwards, Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury took it with nearly 15000. The English forces built artillery fortifications and were able to withstand an assault by the besieging French and Scots troops supported by heavy cannon in July 1548. Although the siege was scaled down after this unsuccessful attempt, the English garrison abandoned the town on 19 September 1549, after attrition by Scottish raids at night, sickness, and changing political circumstance.
The Rough Wooing was a war between Scotland and England. Following its break with the Roman Catholic Church, England attacked Scotland, partly to destroy the Auld Alliance and prevent Scotland being used as a springboard for future invasion by France, partly to weaken Scotland, and partly to force Scotland to agree to a marriage alliance between Mary, Queen of Scots, and the English heir apparent Edward, son of King Henry VIII. An invasion of France was also contemplated. Henry declared war in an attempt to force the Scots to agree to a marriage between Edward, who was six years old at the start of the war, and the infant queen, thereby creating a new alliance between Scotland and England. Upon Edward's accession to the throne in 1547 at the age of nine, the war continued for a time under the direction of the Duke of Somerset before Somerset's removal from power in 1549 and replacement by the Duke of Northumberland, who wished for a less costly foreign policy than his predecessor. It was the last major conflict between Scotland and England before the Union of the Crowns in 1603, excepting perhaps the English intervention at the Siege of Leith in 1560, and was part of the Anglo-Scottish Wars of the 16th century.
Sir James Wilsford was an English soldier and politician, who was commander at the Siege of Haddington in the war known as the Rough Wooing and also sat as Member of Parliament for Barnstaple.
Mariotta Haliburton, Lady Home was a 16th-century Scottish noblewoman. She varied the spelling of her forename between Mariotta, Marion, and Mary. She is remembered for her defence and negotiation of the surrender of Hume Castle after the Battle of Pinkie when the castle was surrounded by an English army. Afterwards she continued to struggle for the rights of her people at the village of Hume in the Scottish Borders, writing both to the English commander and the Scottish leader.
Jean de Beaugué, was a French soldier who served in Scotland in the 1540s, during the war of the Rough Wooing. He wrote a memoir of the fighting which, first published in 1556, is still an important source for historians. Much of the book concerns the activities of the French commander in Scotland, André de Montalembert, who is often called d'Esse in British histories.
James Hay, 7th Lord Hay of Yester (1564-1609) was a Scottish landowner and courtier.
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