John Erskine, Yerl o Mar (1675–1732)

John Erskine, 23rd an de jure 6t Earl o Mar, KT (1675 – Mey 1732), Scots Jacobite, wis the auldest son o the 22nt Earl o Mar (who dee'd in 1689), frae whom he inheritit estates that wur hivily loadit wi debt. Bi modren reckonin he wis 23rd Earl o Mar o the first creation (frae c. 1114) an de jure 6t Earl o Mar o the seivent creation (frae 1565). He is whiles an aa termed the 11t Earl o Mar in the Scots Peerage, which wis reckoned frae the seicont creation (frae 1426). He wis nicknamed "Bobbing John" for his tendency tae shift back an fort frae faction tae faction, whether frae Tory tae Whig or Hanoverian tae Jacobite.

He wis associated wi a pairty favourable tae the Govrenment, wis ane o the Commissioners for the Union, an wis made a Scots Secretary o State; becomin, efter the Union o 1707, a representative peer for Scotland, Keeper o the Signet an a Privy Counsellor. In 1713 Mar wis made a Breetish Secretary o State bi the Tories, but he seems tae hae been equally ready tae side wi the Whigs an, in 1714, he assured the new Keeng, George I, o his loyalty. Housomeivver, lik the ither Tories, he wis deprived o his office, an in August 1715 he went in disguise tae Scotland an placed hissel at the heid o the Jacobite adherents o James Edward, the Auld Pretender.

Meetin mony Hieland chieftains at Aboyne, he avoued an earnest desire for the unthirldom o Scotland an at Braemar on 6 September 1715, he proclaimed James VIII Keeng o Scotland, Ingland, Fraunce an Ireland, sicweys beginnin the '15 Jacobite risin. Gradually the forces unner his command war augmentit, but as a general he wis a complete failure. Precious time wis wastit at Perth, a feigned attack on Stirlin wis resultless, an he coud gie little assistance tae the Inglis Jacobites. At Sheriffmuir, whaur a battle wis focht in November 1715, Mar's forces lairgelie ootnumbered those o his opponent, the Duke o Argyll; but nae bravery coud atone for the signal incompetence displayed bi Lord Mar, an the fecht wis virtuallie a decisive defeat for the Jacobites.

Mar then met James Edward at Fetteresso; the cause housomeivver wis lost, an Mar an the Prince fled tae Fraunce, whaur he wad spend the remainder o his life. The Hanoveran court passed a Writ o Attainder for treason against Mar in 1716 as punishment for his disloyalty; this wis no liftit till 1824.

Mar sought tae interest foreign pouers in the cause o the Stuarts; but in the course o time he became thoroughly distrustit bi the Jacobites. In 1721 he acceptit a pension o £3500 a year frae George I, an in the follaein year his name wis freely mentioned in connection wi the trial o Bishop Atterbury, whom it wis asserted that Mar haed betrayed. This chairge mey aiblins be summarised as no proven. At the best his conduct wis heichlie imprudent, an sae in 1724 the Pretender feenally broke wi Mar. His later years wur spent in Paris an at Aix-la-Chapelle, whaur he dee'd in 1732.

Marriage, issue an descendants


Mar first mairit Lady Margaret Hay in 6 Aprile 1703. She bore him a son, Thomas, in 1705. Lady Margaret dee'd fower years later on 26 Aprile 1707. Mar mairit for his seicont wife Lady Frances Pierrepont, dochter o the 1st Duke o Kingston-upon-Hull. The match wis excellent, as it providit Mar wi the funds tae feenally begin tae clear his inheritit debts. Lady Frances went mad in 1728 due tae the stress o his exile in Fraunce. She outlived Mar bi 35 years, deein on 4 Mairch 1767.

Notable relatives


The progresive rock baund Genesis wrote a sang, "Eleventh Earl of Mar" (foond on thair Wind & Wuthering album), aboot Mar an the 1715 Jacobite Risin.

He wis mentioned in a contemporary fowk sang "Come Ye O'ere Frae France", which wis recordit bi the Breetish electric fowk baund Steeleye Span.