Earl Marischal

The title of Earl Marischal was created in the peerage of Scotland for William Keith, the Great Marischal of Scotland.

The office of "Marischal of Scotland" (or Marascallus Scotie) had been hereditary, held by the senior member of the Keith family, since Hervey (Herveus) de Keith, who held the office of Marischal under Malcolm IV and William I. The descendant of Herveus, Sir Robert de Keith (d.1332), was confirmed in the office of "Great Marischal of Scotland" by King Robert the Bruce around 1324.

Robert de Keith's great-grandson, William, was raised to the peerage as Earl Marischal by James II in about 1458. The peerage died out when George Keith, the 9th earl, forfeited it by joining the Jacobite Rising of 1715.

The role of the Marischal was to serve as custodian of the Royal Regalia of Scotland, and to protect the king's person when attending parliament. The former duty was fulfilled by the 7th earl during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, who hid them at Dunnottar Castle. The role of regulation of heraldry carried out by the English Earl Marshal is carried out in Scotland by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

The separate office of Knight Marischal was first created for the Scottish coronation of King Charles I in 1633. The office is not heritable, although it has been held by members of the Keith family.

The title was forfeited in 1715, due to the last earl's participation in the Jacobite rising.

Marischals and Great Marischals of Scotland

  1. Hervey de Keith (d. c. 1196)
  2. Philip de Keith (d. c. 1225), paternal grandson of Hervey de Keith, older brother of David de Keith
  3. David de Keith, paternal grandson of Hervey de Keith, younger brother of Philip de Keith (co-jointly with his brother above and paternal nephew below)
  4. Hervey de Keith (d. c. 1250), paternal nephew of David de Keith
  5. Richard de Keith (fl. 12??)[1]
  6. David de Keith (fl. 1269)[2]
  7. John de Keith (d. c. 1270)
  8. William de Keith (d. c. 1293)
  9. Sir Robert Keith (d. 1332)
  10. Sir Robert Keith (d. 1346)
  11. Sir Edward Keith (d. c. 1351)
  12. Sir William Keith (d. c. 1410)
  13. Robert Keith (d. c. 1430)

Earls Marischal of Scotland (c. 1458)

  1. William Keith, 1st Earl Marischal (d. 1483)[3][4]
  2. William Keith, 2nd Earl Marischal (d. 1530)[4]
  3. William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal (d. 15??)
  4. William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal (d. 1581)[5]
  5. George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal (c. 1553 1623)[6]
  6. William Keith, 6th Earl Marischal (c. 1585 1635)[7]
  7. William Keith, 7th Earl Marischal (1614 1671)[8]
  8. George Keith, 8th Earl Marischal (d. 1694) [9]
  9. William Keith, 9th Earl Marischal (c. 1664 1712)[9]
  10. George Keith, 10th Earl Marischal (c. 1693 1778) (forfeit 1715)[10]

Before the sequence was revised by Thomas Innes in 1927, the 1st Earl's father, William Keith, Marshall of Scotland (d. 1463) was the first Earl, so that the final earl was the 10th Earl Marischal.[5][11]

See also


  • Balfour Paul, Sir James-The Scots Peerage Vol. VI. Edinburgh 1909
  • Taylor, James (1887). "The Great Historic Families of Scotland: The Keiths". Retrieved 31 August 2007.
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