Thomas Somerville, 1st Lord Somerville

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Thomas Somerville, 1st Lord Somerville, (d. 1434), was a Lord of the Parliament of Scotland.

Lord Somerville

Lord Somerville is a title in the Peerage of Scotland which is subject to a number of ambiguities. The date of creation is not known with certainty but it was probably created about 1435 for Thomas Somerville, Justiciar of Scotland. The title was omitted in 1606 when an ordered list of the Scottish peerage was produced following the union of the Scottish and English crowns, and the title was not used during the 17th century. In 1723, however, the House of Lords ratified and acknowledged the title for James Somerville the 13th Lord. The consecutive numbers ascribed to the numerous Lords differ according to which authority is consulted. The list below uses the numbers favoured by Burkes Peerage.

Parliament of Scotland legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland

The Parliament of Scotland was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The parliament, like other such institutions, evolved during the Middle Ages from the king's council of bishops and earls. It is first identifiable as a parliament in 1235, during the reign of Alexander II, when it was described as a "colloquium" and already possessed a political and judicial role. By the early fourteenth century, the attendance of knights and freeholders had become important, and from 1326 commissioners from the burghs attended. Consisting of the "three estates" of clergy, nobility and the burghs sitting in a single chamber, the parliament gave consent for the raising of taxation and played an important role in the administration of justice, foreign policy, war, and all manner of other legislation. Parliamentary business was also carried out by "sister" institutions, such as General Councils or Convention of Estates. These could carry out much business also dealt with by parliament – taxation, legislation and policy-making – but lacked the ultimate authority of a full parliament.


In 1423 Thomas Somerville, as Lord of Carnwath, came to London as an ambassador to treat for the release of James I of Scotland, who had been captive in England for many years. Somerville was also recorded as a Warden of the Scottish Borders in 1424. As Somerville of that Ilk, he sat on the assize at Stirling Castle in May 1425 that condemned Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany. Thomas Somerville probably founded the Collegiate Church at Carnwath with his family burial aisle around 1425-1430, and repaired the church at Linton, Roxburghshire. [1]

Carnwath Place

Carnwath (Gaelic: A' Chathair Nuadh; English: "New Fort" is a moorland village on the southern edge of the Pentland Hills of South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The village lies about 30 mi south of both Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is bounded by the North Medwyn and South Medwyn watercourses.

James I of Scotland 15th-century King of Scots

James I, the youngest of three sons, was born in Dunfermline Abbey to King Robert III and his wife Annabella Drummond. By the time he was eight, both of his elder brothers were dead—Robert had died in infancy but David, Duke of Rothesay, died suspiciously in Falkland Palace while being detained by his uncle, Robert, Duke of Albany. Although Albany was exonerated by parliament, fears for James's safety grew through the winter of 1405 – 1406 and plans were made to send him to France. In February 1406, James was accompanying nobles close to his father when they clashed with supporters of Archibald, 4th Earl of Douglas, forcing the prince to take refuge in the castle of the Bass Rock, a small islet in the Firth of Forth. He remained there until mid-March when he boarded a vessel bound for France, but on 22 March while off the English coast, pirates captured the ship and delivered James to Henry IV of England. The ailing Robert III died on 4 April and the 12-year-old James, now the uncrowned King of Scots, would not regain his freedom for another 18 years.

Scottish Borders Council area of Scotland

The Scottish Borders is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and, to the south-west, south and east, the English counties of Cumbria and Northumberland. The administrative centre of the area is Newtown St Boswells.


According to James, 11th Lord Somerville, author of the history of the Somerville family, it was during the life of Thomas, 1st Lord Somerville, that "the fortunes of the Somerville family . . . reached their zenith in territorial possessions in power and influence." He had four baronies: Carnwath in Lanarkshire and Cambusnethan in North Lanarkshire; Linton in Roxburgh; and Plean in Stirlingshire. In addition, upon the death of his uncle, Thomas Somerville, in 1412, he succeeded to the estates of Gilmerton, Drum, and Goodtrees in the Edinburgh vicinity. He also held lands in Quothquan and Newbigging in Lanarkshire; and Broughton in Peebleshire. [2] Cambusnethan was brought to him by his wife, Janet, daughter of Alexander Stewart of Darnley (d.1404). [3]

Lanarkshire Historic county in Scotland

Lanarkshire, also called the County of Lanark is a historic county in the central Lowlands of Scotland.

Cambusnethan town in North Lanarkshire

Cambusnethan is a large suburb on the eastern edge of Wishaw, North Lanarkshire in Scotland. It is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long, straddling both sides of the A722 on a hill overlooking Wishaw.

North Lanarkshire Council area of Scotland

North Lanarkshire Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig a Tuath) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders onto the northeast of the City of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow's suburbs and commuter towns and villages. It also borders East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Stirling, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian. The council covers parts of the traditional counties of Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Stirlingshire.


Thomas Somerville, 1st Lord Somerville, was twelfth in the direct male line from Sir Gualter de Somerville, 1st Baron of Whichenour (in Staffordshire), who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066. [4] Thomas married Janet Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart of Darnley, before July 1392. Their eldest daughter Mary married Sir William Hay of Yester, another daughter Geillis married Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig, and Margaret married Roger Kirkpatrick of Closeburn in Niddsdale. His heir William Somerville, 2nd Lord Somerville, married Janet Mowat of Stenness. The first Lord Somerville died in December 1434. [5]

Staffordshire County of England

Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.

William I, usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, and he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son.

Sir Alexander Stewart of Darnley was a Scottish nobleman.


Walter Scott 18th/19th-century Scottish historical novelist, poet and playwright

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

James Somerville (1632–1690) was a Scottish family historian. A youthful soldier of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, he like his father declined to claim the title Lord Somerville, but wrote an extensive work on his ancestry, later edited by Walter Scott.

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The Drum, Edinburgh

The Drum is an 18th-century country house and estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland. Located between the Gilmerton and Danderhall areas, The Drum is 4 miles (6.4 km) south-east of the city centre. The Drum was the seat of the Lords Somerville from the later Middle Ages, who built a 16th-century house on the estate. This was replaced in the 1720s with a classical house by William Adam. Sold by Lord Somerville in the early 19th century, the house remains in private hands.


  1. Rhymer, Thomas, ed., Foedera, vol. 10, p. 301: Memorie of the Somervilles,vol. 1 (1815), 159 footnote, 164 footnote, 166-7.
  2. Somerville, James (1920). The Baronial House of Somerville. Glasgow: Maclehose. pp. 25–26. Retrieved 19 Aug 2016.
  3. Douglas, Robert (1764). The Peerage of Scotland. Edinburgh. p. 627. Retrieved 19 Aug 2016.
  4. Somerville. Baronial House. p. 25.
  5. Memorie of the Somervilles, vol. 1 (1815), 168-170 & footnote, 171 & footnote, 175, 176.
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
New creation
Lord Somerville
Succeeded by
William Somerville