Letters of Charles Gordon (1847-1937), 11th Marquis of Huntly, and Material relating to the Earls of Huntly and Morton

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: letter to J. H. Lehterbrow, about a picture, 1871; letter to Sir H. Ponsonby about the origins of the family of Gordon, 1891; letter to Major Mercer about Huntly having been to 'see the tents' and for 'your men to put them up', and that 'the bed is too short'; letter from Huntly with printed heading Cotterstock Hall, Oundle, indicating that he is unable to 'take the chair' at the Grampian Club anniversary dinner; and, letter from the Dowager Marchioness of Huntly (probably Maria Antoinetta, second wife of the 10th Marquess, and mother of 11th Marquess) with printed heading Orton Longueville, Peterborough, indicating that she is unable to attend a garden party as she is 'recovering from a serious illness' and is 'still unable to leave home'.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Gordon family take their name from the lands of Gordon in Berwickshire. In the 15th century Elizabeth Gordon married Alexander Seton who was made a Lord of Parliament around 1437, as Lord Gordon. Their son, Alexander Seton was made Earl of Huntly around 1445 and given grants of land from the Crown in Inverness and Moray, and the Lordship of Badenoch.

George (d. 1636), 6th Earl of Huntly, was the head of the Catholic party in Scotland. On 21 July 1588 he married Lady Henrietta Stewart, eldest daughter of Esme Stewart, Duke of Lennox. He was pardoned by King James VI after a defeat by the Earl of Argyll at Glenlivat in 1594, and in 1599 was made Marquess of Huntly. On his death on 13 June 1636 he was succeeded by his son George (d. 1649), 2nd Marquess of Huntly. The 2nd Marquess had married, in 1607, Lady Anne Campbell, daughter of Archibald, 7th Earl of Argyll. He supported the Royalist cause during the Civil War and was beheaded on 30 March 1649. He was succeeded by his third son Lewis (d. 1653), 3rd Marquess of Huntly.

Charles Gordon, 11th Marquis of Huntly, was born at Orton Longueville, near Peterborough, on 5 March 1847. He was educated at Eton and he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. He had succeeded to the Marquessate of Huntly in 1863 on the death of his father, Charles (1792-1863), 10th Marquess of Huntly. He was a Lord-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria, 1870-1873 and Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, 1881. He was also Justice of the Peace and Deputy-Lieutenant for Aberdeenshire, and Justice of the Peace for Peterborough, and an Alderman and Vice-Chairman of the County Council of Huntingdon. Charles Gordon, 11th Marquis of Huntly, died on 20 February 1937. He was succeeded by his great nephew Douglas Charles Lindsay (1908-), 12th Marquess of Huntly.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Lehterbrow letter, acquired January 1970, Accession no. E70.3.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Burke, Sir Bernard. and Burke Ashworth P. A genealogical and heraldic history of the peerage and baronetage, the Privy Council, and knightage. 87th edition. London: Burke's Peerage Ltd., 1929. (2) Who was who 1929-1940. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1941.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show various references to Gordon related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter to Sir C. J. Pearson, 1892, at Gen. 756, no. 121. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: letters to W. E. Gladstone, 1870-1885, British Library, Manuscript Collections, Ref. Add MSS 44427-788 passim; correspondence with Lord Kimberley, 1884-1893, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Ref. MSS Eng a 2013-14, b 2047-49, c 3933-4514, d 2439-92, e 2790-97 NRA 1274 Wodehouse; and, correspondence including Lord Rosebery, 1870-1929, National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections, Ref. MSS 9863-10085, 10195 Passim

Edinburgh University Library also holds the following within the Special Collections Division material (check the Indexes for more details): letter of Charles Gordon, 10th Marquess of Huntly, about Kinloch, and signed 'Aboyne', 1819, at Gen. 1981/161; mention of George Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly, in letters of J. Riddell to D. Laing, 1828-1860, at La.IV.17; letter of George Gordon, 6th Earl of Huntly, to Sir Robert Gordon, Huntlie, 1617, at La.II.497; and, sixteenth century papers relative to the Earls of Huntly and Morton, in Dk.7.31.