OrnaVerum
v 5.10.00
6 Oct 2018
updated 17 Nov 2019

John Francis Miller Erskine's claim to the Earldom of Kellie

I might well have been insensitively jocular about the inability of the Earldom of Kellie to sustain itself beyond the 7th generation, but such problems defy the best intentions and one is all too aware that the finest possible potential parents are all too often denied a happy outcome.

And over the years, of course, the world would have been a poorer place without maiden aunts (well, spinsters anyway) and bachelor uncles to enliven and fructify the dull monotony of their nieces' and nephews' early existences, especially as regards trips to the cinema (on one of which I fell hopelessly in love with Audrey Hepburn, and then on the very next occasion with Lesley Caron – impossible to choose between them) and the occasional half crown.

That said, it has to be admitted that things didn't go well for the Kellies for very long after Charles the 8th Baronet of Cambo had put his shoulder to the wheel as 8th Earl of Kellie. After Methven Erskine 10th Earl had dropped off the twig, the search began for his successor.

The 1666 Cambos had already folded, and the 1821 Cambos were debarred on some specious technicality or other, so the inheritance had to pass outside the immediate family – and as the only real option, the Erskines of Mar were looming like a pod of orcas.

Thus John Francis Miller Erskine, the current Earl of Mar, gained the glittering prize, acquiring a second distinct Earldom, but sowing the seed for future discord and conflict in that he had no progeny and succession to the Earldom of Mar after his death would be through the female line. The door was open for the Kellies to strike back.

You might like to see this displayed diagrammatically, first in essence, and then, in its full complexity, revealing that John Francis Miller Erskine (the then Earl of Mar) and Methven were 6th cousins thrice removed.

Thus he gained the glittering prize, acquiring a second distinct Earldom as the 11th Earl of Kellie, but sowing the seed for future discord and conflict in that, ironically, he himself had no progeny and succession to the Earldom of Mar after his death would be through the female line. The door was open for the Kellies to strike back, as actioned by Walter Coningsby Erskine, his cousin and successor as the 12th Earl of Kellie.