My sixth great grandfather Charles Kinnaird (1723 – 1767) was a Scottish peer, the sixth Lord Kinnaird.
Sir George Kinnaird of Inchture, 1st Lord Kinnaird, knighted by Charles II in 1661, was a steady loyalist during the civil wars. He represented the county of Perth in the Scots parliament, and was sworn a Privy Councillor. On 28th December 1682 he was raised to the Peerage of Scotland, with the title of Lord Kinnaird of Inchture, ‘with limitation to the heirs male of his body’. George Kinnaird had six sons.
Charles, the 5th Lord Kinnaird, was the grandson of the 1st Lord. In 1728 he succeeded to the title when his nephew died without issue. The 5th Lord married Magdalene Brown at Edinburgh in about 1729.
The 5th Lord and his wife had no children, but in September 1747, about eighteen years after their marriage, Lady Kinnaird left her home, went to an undisclosed destination, and two days later it was announced she had given birth to twins. She was said to have shown no signs of pregnancy.
It was also reported that Lady Kinnaird intensely disliked her cousin Charles Kinnaird (1723 – 1767), who was due to inherit the title. She is said to have declared that “she would be content to go to hell or do anything rather than he should inherit.”
Charles Kinnaird took the matter to the Commissary Court, a Scottish court with jurisdiction in matters of marriage, divorce, and bastardy. He asked for proof of delivery and a physical examination of Lady Kinnaird. Lord and Lady Kinnaird were summoned to court in December 1847 but they refused to give evidence or produce the twins. Shortly afterwards Lord Kinnaird declared that the twins were dead and the case was closed.
On 1 July 1748 the Commisaries decerned, that is decreed by judicial sentence, Lord Kinnaird to make payment to Mr Kinnaird of the sum of 600 pounds sterling for not appearing personally in court. [In 2018 according to measuringworth.com, the relative value of £600 from 1748 ranges from £88,010 to £12,830,000].
The fifth Lord died ten years later and his first cousin once removed, my sixth great grandfather, inherited the title.
- Jacobites in skirts: My sixth great grandfather, Charles Kinnaird (1723-1767) was imprisoned during the rebellion. In November 1745 Kinnaird was committed to prison by the solicitor of His Majesty George II for holding treasonable correspondence with the Highlanders at Carlisle, but was released a few weeks later on 19 December 1745. He is described in family stories as having “eaten his commission in prison”, destroying in this way the documents and correspondence he was carrying.
- Dictionary of National Biography London, England: Oxford University Press; Volume: Vol 11; Page: 190 entry for George Kinnaird, first Baron Kinnaird retrieved through ancestry.com
- Douglas R Scots Peerage Vol 5 1908, page 211. retrieved through the Internet Archive, archive.org/details/DouglasRScotsPeerageVol51908/page/n225.
- Debrett, John (1840). Debrett’s Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland. revised, corrected and continued by G.W. Collen. pp. 423–4.
- Burke, John (1832). A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. H. Colburn and R. Bentley. pp. 38–9
- “381. Process of Declarator.” from page 29 “Scottish Record Society. [Publications]”, first published 1898 and viewed through https://archive.org/details/scottishrecordso22scotuoft/page/28.
- Sabbagh, Karl (11 June 2014). The Trials of Lady Jane Douglas: The scandal that divided 18th century Britain. eBookPartnership.com. pp. 45–6