Earldom of Kellie
held with
Earldom of Mar
(7th creation)
Creation date1619
Created byJames VI and I
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderThomas Erskine, 1st Earl of Kellie
Present holderJames Thorne Erskine,
16th Earl of Kellie
Heir presumptiveHon. Alexander David Erskine
Remainder toheirs male of the body of the grantee
Subsidiary titlesEarl of Mar, Viscount of Fentoun, Lord Erskine, Lord Erskine of Dirleton
Seat(s)Hilton Farm
Former seat(s)Kellie Castle

The title Earl of Kellie or Kelly is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, created in 1619 for Sir Thomas Erskine, who was Captain of the Guard and Groom of the Stool for James VI.[1] It is named after Barony of Kellie in Fife, Scotland. Since 1875, it has been held jointly with the Earldom of Mar (1565 creation).

The family seat is Hilton Farm, near Alloa, Clackmannanshire.


The Earldom of Kellie was united with the Earldom of Mar in 1835, when the 26th Earl of Mar became also the 11th Earl of Kellie. At the death of that Earl in 1866, the Earldom of Kellie and the family's estates passed to Walter Erskine, the cousin of the late Earl, and his heir-male. Meanwhile, it was assumed that the Earldom of Mar passed to John Francis Goodeve, the late Earl's nephew, and his heir-general. Goodeve changed his name to Goodeve Erskine; his claim was agreed upon by most individuals. He even participated in the election of Scottish representative peers for the Peerage of Scotland.

However, the Earl of Kellie submitted a petition to the House of Lords asking that the Earldom of Mar be declared his, dying before it could be considered. His son, the 13th Earl of Kellie, renewed the petition, and the Lords decided the matter in 1875, determining that the Earldom of Mar properly belonged to the Earl of Kellie. However, due to a sentiment that the Lords had decided wrongly, the Earldom of Mar Restitution Act was passed. That Act declared that there were two Earldoms of Mar — one that would belong to the Earl of Kellie, and another that would belong to John Goodeve Erskine.

The subsidiary titles belonging to the Earl of Mar and Kellie are: Viscount of Fentoun or Fenton (created 1606), Lord Erskine (1429) and Lord Erskine of Dirleton (1603), the former of which is used as a courtesy title for the eldest son and heir of the Earl. Both titles are in the Peerage of Scotland. The Earl is Hereditary Keeper of Stirling Castle.

The family seat was Kellie Castle, near Pittenweem, Fife.

Earls of Kellie (1619)

Kellie Castle, Fife
Cambo House, Fife
Also Viscount Fentoun (1606) and Lord Erskine of Dirleton (1603)

The heir presumptive is the present holder's brother Alexander David Erskine, Master of Mar and Kellie (b. 1952). The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his only son Alexander Capel Erskine (b. 1979).

Family tree

See also


  1. ^ Houston, S.J. (1995). Clive Emsley &Gordon Martel (ed.). James I (Second ed.). Longman. p. 43. ISBN 0-582-20911-0.