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28 Jan 2022
updated 28 Jan 2022

The Dukes of Sutherland

George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland
(9 Jan 1758 – 19 Jul 1833)

Straight from Central Casting! Have you ever seen such a personification of aristocratic arrogance and supercilious disdain? But reach across and put a thumb over that quasi-Wellingtonian ducal nose, and what remains looks a little bit shy and slightly anxious. Was he really such a monster as Scottish mythology would have it, or was his (equally unpopular) wife the driving force behind their part in the Highland clearances?

The Dukes of Sutherland – like latterday Silicon Valley monopolists of second-rate but paradoxically popular PC operating systems, and Russian kleptocratic oligarchs, or those whom my mother-in-law humorously described as potent Easterntates – possessed wealth utterly unimaginable to the rest of us; the first Duke was described as having been the richest man who ever died (at that time, anyway). How he truly compared with, for example, today's billionaires is hard to say, because, of course, wealth becomes unquantifiable after a certain point – having more money doesn't meaningfully make you richer. Is a trillionnaire richer than a billionaire? What could one buy that the other one couldn't? And of course the goods and services available in different eras are utterly incommensurable anyway – I believe such comparisons are sometimes made, rather implausibly, in terms of loaves of bread (akin to – but much less convincing than – The Economist's Big Mac index of purchasing power for comparing different currencies and costs of living).

Some tera-wealthy individuals such as Bill Gates, like Andrew Carnegie or John D Rockefeller of yesteryear, mitigate(d) their huge fortunes by extensive practical philanthropy, in line with Carnegie's dictum that he who dies rich dies disgraced, and it's certainly straight from the New Testament too – though these days, pace our Exemplar, there's a growing feeling that not all degrees of poverty are harmful and that a touch of hardship in early life provides a stimulus towards hard work and personal achievement – to be born in a stable didn't mean, according to the Duke of Wellington, that one was a horse, and of course in the NT it signified that poverty in itself was no barrier to personal dignity in the eyes of Heaven).

For no reason save that I on the contrary am getting lazier by the day in old age, the following tabulation is just patrilineal – I carry only the eldest son down to the succeeding generation.

You can follow the fortunes of the other offspring in each generation via www.thepeerage.com and of course Wikipedia – if only for the fascinating incidental details of their lives.

These sometimes rivalled or surpassed any episode of EastEnders – as, for example, in the complicated love-life of the deeply unlovely 3rd Duke, whose private doings were doubtless enlivened by haughty equivalents of Woss goin' on?, Leave it aht!, and You're doin' my 'ead in! He was even suspected at having arranged, or connived at, the death of his business manager Arthur Blair, whose wife he was having a doubly adulterous affair with and subsequently married with indecent haste. Additional reason, indeed, for his grand-daughter Rosemary to be deemed an unsuitable choice as future Queen of England several decades later,

On the other hand, as would be expected, there were frequent intermarriages with, for example, the Grosvenor, Howard and Cavendish families.

For a monumental compilation of the Leveson-Gowers (and related families), over four centuries and goodness knows how many individuals (including the Dukes of Sutherland), in 13 instalments, click here, and then follow the internal links.

#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
0Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford
(4 Aug 1721 –
26 Oct 1803)


pronounced as Loos(h)en-Gore
Elizabeth Fazackerly
(d 19 May 1745)
(m 23 Dec 1744)
Lady Louisa Egerton
(30 Apr 1723 –
14 Mar 1761)
(m 28 Mar 1748)

daughter of Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgwater
2 other daughters

Lady Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower
(2 Nov 1753 –
27 Jan 1824)
= Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle

George Granville Leveson-Gower
(9 Jan 1758 –
19 Jul 1833)
Lady Susanna Stewart
(d 1805)
(m 23 May 1768)

daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville
(12 Oct 1773 –
8 Jan 1846)

1George Granville Leveson-Gower §,  1,  2,  3
(9 Jan 1758 –
19 Jul 1833)
1st Duke of Sutherland,

2nd Marquess of Stafford,

Viscount Trentham,

4th Lord Gower of Sittenham

Elizabeth Gordon1,  2,  3
(24 May 1765 –
29 Jan 1839)
(m 4 Sep 1785)


daughter of William Gordon, 18th Earl of Sutherland
George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland
(8 Aug 1786 –
22 Feb 1861)

Lady Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower
(1788 –
7 Jul 1870)
(= 13th D of Norfolk)


Lady Elizabeth Mary Leveson-Gower
(8 Nov 1797 –
11 Nov 1891)
(= 2nd Marquess of Westminster)


Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere
(1 Jan 1800 –
18 Feb 1857)

2George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland1,  2
(8 Aug 1786 –
22 Feb 1861)

Lady Harriet Elizabeth Georgiana Howard
(21 May 1806 –
27 Oct 1868)
(m 28 May 1823)


daughter of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle and Lady Georgiana Dorothy Cavendish
Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Sutherland-Leveson-Gower
(30 May 1824 –
25 May 1878)

Lady Evelyn Leveson-Gower
(8 Aug 1825 –
24 Nov 1869)

Lady Caroline Leveson-Gower
(15 Apr 1827 –
13 May 1887)

George Granville William Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 3rd Duke of Sutherland
(19 Dec 1828 –
22 Sep 1892)

Frederick George Leveson-Gower
(11 Nov 1832 –
6 Oct 1854)

Lady Constance Gertrude Leveson-Gower
(16 Jun 1834 –
19 Dec 1880)
(=1st Duke of Westminster)

Lord Albert Leveson-Gower
(21 Nov 1843 –
23 Dec 1874)

Lord Ronald Charles Leveson-Gower
(2 Aug 1845 –
9 Mar 1916)
3George Granville William Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 3rd Duke of Sutherland1,  2
(19 Dec 1828 –
22 Sep 1892)

Anne Hay-Mackenzie, Countess of Cromartie
(21 Apr 1829 –
25 Nov 1888)
(m 27 Jun 1849)

George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Earl Gower
(27 Jul 1850 –
5 Jul 1858)

Cromartie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 4th Duke of Sutherland
(20 Jul 1851 –
27 Jun 1913)

Francis Mackenzie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower
(2nd Earl of Cromartie)
(3 Aug 1852 –
24 Nov 1893)

Lady Florence Sutherland-Leveson-Gower
(17 Apr 1855 –
10 Oct 1881)
=1st Viscount Chaplin


Lady Alexandra Sutherland-Leveson-Gower
(13 Apr 1866 –
16 Apr 1891)
Mary Caroline Blair (née Mitchell) §§
(1848 –
25 May 1912)
(m 4 Mar 1889)

4Cromartie Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 4th Duke of Sutherland1,  2
(20 Jul 1851 –
27 June 1913)

Lady Millicent Fanny St. Clair-Erskine 1,   2,   3
(20 Oct 1867 –
20 Aug 1955)
(m 20 Oct 1884)


daughter of Robert Francis St. Clair-Erskine, 4th Earl of Rosslyn and Blanche Adeliza Fitzroy
Lady Victoria Elizabeth Leveson-Gower
(5 Aug 1885 –
28 Jan 1888)

George Granville Sutherland Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland
(29 Aug 1888 –
1 Feb 1963)

Lord Alastair St. Clair Leveson-Gower
(24 Jan 1890 –
28 Apr 1921)

Lady Rosemary Millicent Leveson-Gower
(9 Aug 1893 –
21 Jul 1930)
5George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland1,   2
(29 Aug 1888 –
1 Feb 1963)

Lady Eileen Gwladys Butler1,  2
(3 Nov 1891 –
24 Aug 1943)
(m 11 Apr 1912)

Clare Josephine O'Brian
(12 Jun 1903 –
ca 20 Feb 1998)
(m 1 July 1944)

(No known portrait)

lost $84,000 of jewels on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation

§ He gained the title of 2nd Marquess of Stafford in 1790, and was created 1st Duke of Sutherland on 28 January 1833, so opprobrium for Highland Closures was directed at "Lord Stafford" and indeed also at "Lady Stafford" (the Marchioness) for her active participation in these measures.

§§ www.amazon.co.uk/Prospect-Sutherland-Building-Castle-Duchess/dp/1874744254

A Prospect of Sutherland: The Building of a Castle and the Making of a Duchess,
Gilbert Torrance Bell, Birlinn Ltd 1995
ISBN-10: 1874744254, ISBN-13: 978-1874744252

Built by Mary Caroline Blair, second wife of the third Duke of Sutherland, Carbisdale was the last castle to be built in Scotland. It was the site both of Montrose's last battle and of the headquarters of the Norwegian resistance during World War II. Carbisdale also conceals the scandal of the House of Sutherland. This book examines the mystery surrounding the life and death of the third Duke of Sutherland, an unwelcome marriage, a family feud over the will of a wayward son and the alienation of Mary Caroline Blair, banished to build her castle without her dead husband's estate.