Archibald Montgomerie, 11th Earl of Eglinton

Archibald Montgomerie, 11th Earl of Eglinton (18 May 1726  30 October 1796) was a Scottish General, and Member of Parliament (MP) in the British Parliament. He was also the Clan Chief of the Clan Montgomery. Montgomerie fought in the Seven Years' War, where he served with George Washington. He also was the patron for the poet, Robert Burns.

The Earl of Eglinton
Member of Parliament
for Ayrshire
In office
Member of Parliament
for Wigtown Burghs
In office
Personal details
Born18 May 1726
Ayrshire, Scotland
Died30 October 1796 (aged 70)
Eglinton Castle, Scotland
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Jean (Jane) Lindsay (1772–1778)
Frances Twysden (1783–1796)
Alma materEton
Winchester College

Early life

Archibald Montgomerie was born on 18 May 1726, to Alexander Montgomerie, 9th Earl of Eglinton and the 9th Earl's third wife, Susanna Kennedy.[1][2] Montgomerie was one of the 9th Earl's twenty children.[2] Montgomerie was educated at Eton during his teenage years, and then went to Winchester College.[3] At age 13, Montgomerie joined the army.[4]

Military career

After joining the army, Montgomerie received a commission as a Cornet in the Scots Greys. He served in this rank from 1739 to 1740.[4] He became Major of the 36th Regiment in 1751,[5] and was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment on 4 January 1757.[1][3] At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, Montgomerie raised the Montgomerie's Highlanders.[6] The regiment traveled to the American Colonies in 1757, and Montgomerie was put under the command of General Amherst.[7] Montgomerie and his regiment fought with George Washington, and Henry Bouquet at the expedition against Fort Duquesne, in 1758.[8][9] In 1760, he commanded an expedition against the Cherokee during the Anglo-Cherokee War. Montgomerie's expedition, which included 1,200 men, was successful in its mission.[9] Montgomerie had several Cherokee villages destroyed, including Estatoe. He defeated the Cherokees, in 1760, at the Battle of Etchocy, and again defeated them, in 1761, at the Battle of War-Woman's Creek.[1]

Between 1767 and 1795, Montgomerie was the colonel of the 51st Regiment of Foot.[2] During his service with the 51st, Montgomerie fought in the French Revolutionary Wars. He rose through the ranks of the British Military, and became a Major General in 1772.[10] He was Deputy Vice-Admiral of Irvine in 1777, within the Port of Irvine from Kelly Bridge to the Troon Point.[11] He subsequently became a Lieutenant General, in 1777,[1] and in 1793 was commissioned a Full General. From 1795 until 1796, Montgomerie was the Colonel of the Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons).[2]

Political career and Earldom

Montgomerie stood as a Whig in 1761, and was elected to two seats. He chose to give up Wigtown Burghs to sit in the seat for Ayrshire,[3] and served in the House of Commons from 1761 to 1768.[12] In 1761, Montgomerie became an Equerry for Queen Charlotte.[13][14][5] He was appointed Governor of Dumbarton Castle in 1764 and Deputy Ranger of St. James's Park and Deputy Ranger of Hyde Park in 1766.[9][5]

On 24 October 1769, Montgomerie's brother, Alexander Montgomerie, 10th Earl of Eglinton, was murdered by Mungo Campbell, after a dispute on whether or not Campbell could bear arms on the 10th Earl's property.[15] The 10th Earl died, in the early morning hours, on 25 October 1769 and Montgomerie inherited the Earldom.[2]

He was Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge of Mother Kilwinning, from 1771 until 1796.[3] Montgomerie was elected as one of sixteen Scottish representative peers, in 1776, and was re-elected in 1780, 1784, and 1790.[7][5] Montgomerie was appointed Governor of Edinburgh Castle, in 1782,[9] and served as Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire between 1794 and 1796.[2] Montgomerie was also the patron to the poet Robert Burns; Burns and Montgomerie kept in contact until the latter's death.[16]

Montgomerie died on 30 October 1796 at Eglinton Castle.[5] The Earldom passed to a third cousin, Hugh Montgomerie, 12th Earl of Eglinton,[17] but the majority of Archibald Montgomerie's wealth went to his daughter Mary,[9] whose son eventually became the 13th Earl of Eglinton.[18]

There is a portrait of Montgomerie in Windsor Castle. It was offered back to the family by King William IV, but the 13th Earl declined. He felt that it was an honour to have a portrait of his grandfather, at Windsor Castle.[9]

Personal life

Montgomerie was married twice.[5] He was first married, to Lady Jean (Jane) Lindsay, who was the daughter of George Lindsay-Crawford, 21st Earl of Crawford and Lady Jean Hamilton, on 30 March 1772.[19] Jean died, in 1778, without issue. Montgomerie married secondly Frances Twysden,[20] the daughter of Sir William Twysden, 6th Baronet and Mary Jervis,[2][5] on 9 August 1783 and divorced on 6 February 1788 on account on her affair with Douglas Hamilton, 8th Duke of Hamilton with whom she allegedly had a daughter.[21]

He and Frances had two children:

  1. Lady Mary Montgomerie (5 March 1787  12 Jun 1848). Mary was married to Lord Hugh Montgomerie. Their son, Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton, would eventually succeed to the Earldom. It is through Mary that the lineal and male lines of the Montgomerie family would unite, which would return the Earldom of Eglinton to her descendants.[21]
  2. Lady Susanna Montgomerie (26 May 1788  16 Nov 1805). Susanna died unmarried. Her real father may have been Douglas Hamilton.[2][5][21]

See also


  1. Chichester 1894.
  2. The Peerage #21228
  3. Martin p. 144
  4. Freemason's Magazine p. 23
  5. Crawfurd p. 257
  6. Lenman p. 66
  7. Anderson p. 124
  8. Freeman p. 133
  9. Guthrie pp. 78-79
  10. Burke p. 705
  11. Irvine p. 161
  12. Boswell p. 202
  13. Holman p. 61
  14. Beatson p. 454
  15. A dialogue of the dead. p. 27
  16. Burns pp. 240-241
  17. Chisholm p. 18
  18. Colburn p. 435
  19. Debrett p. 416, Peerage of England
  20. Courthope p. 14
  21. Debrett p. 702, Peerage of United Kingdom


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Mure-Campbell
Member of Parliament for Ayrshire
Succeeded by
David Kennedy
Preceded by
John Hamilton
Member of Parliament for Wigtown Burghs
Succeeded by
Keith Stewart
Military offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Loudoun
Governor of Edinburgh Castle
Succeeded by
Lord Adam Gordon
Preceded by
James Johnston
Colonel of the 2nd (Royal North British) Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
Sir Ralph Abercromby
Preceded by
Thomas Brudenell
Colonel of the 51st Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Anthony George Martin
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Office created
Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Eglinton
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Alexander Montgomerie
Earl of Eglinton
Succeeded by
Hugh Montgomerie
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