Letters of the Marquesses of Tweeddale (1787-1911)

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: a letter from the 8th Marquess to 'My dear Hay' offering his help 'to extinguish the trust debt on Belton', and a note on his behalf relating to a draft, and an invitation card from the Marquis and Marchioness at Government House (Madras) to His Excellency Rear-Admiral Inglefield, at Gen. 2041/194-196; correspondence between the 8th Marquess and the Rev. Dr. Lorimer of Haddington, 1840, about patronage in the church, also a note, at Gen. 1956/7/2-3; an undated letter from one of the Marquesses to Mr. Nasmyth; letter of Julia, Lady Tweeddale, second wife of the 9th Marquess; correspondence of the 10th Marquess, written on Yester paper or New Club Edinburgh, at Gen. 2041/186-192; and, letters from Violet Tweeddale, daughter-in-law of 10th Marquess, wife of his son Edward Douglas John, one written at White Court, Torquay, and others undated to Lady Monckton and written from Phyllis Court Club, Henley-on-Thames, and Hall's Hotel, Cork Street W. London.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Hay family of the Marquessate of Tweeddale are descended from the de Haya family of Locherworth, Midlothian. John Hay was created a Lord of Parliament by the title Lord Hay of Yester in the 15th century. The 1st Lord Hay died in 1508.

John Hay, son of James, 7th Lord Hay, had commanded a regiment in the royal army during the reign of Charles I, and was created Earl of Tweeddale in 1646. The 1st Earl of Tweeddale died in 1653.

John Hay, son of the 1st Earl, was created Marquess of Tweeddale on 1 December 1694. Born in 1626, he had served under Charles I, was present at the coronation of Charles II, was MP for East Lothian under Cromwell, held office under James II and was Lord of the Treasury under William and Mary. He was latterly Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, 1692-1696. He had married Lady Jane Scott, daughter of Walter, 1st Earl of Buccleuch, in 1644. John Hay, 1st Marquess of Tweeddale died 11 August 1696.

The succession to the Marquessate passed from father to son until the death of George, 5th Marquess of Tweeddale, in 1770. The title went to his uncle, George (circa 1700-1787), 6th Marquess of Tweeddale, who died unmarried. The Marquessate then passed to a kinsman, a grandson of the 2nd Marquess.

George (1753-1804), 7th Marquess of Tweeddale, was the son of William of Newhall, third son of John (1645-1713), 2nd Marquess of Tweeddale. In 1785, George married Hannah Charlotte, daughter of James, 7th Earl of Lauderdale. Both of them died in 1804 in the fortress of Verdun where they were held prisoner by Napoleon. He was succeeded by George, the eldest son.

George (1787-1876), 8th Marquess of Tweeddale, married Lady Susan Montagu, daughter of William, 5th Duke of Manchester. He was a Field-Marshall in the army and served as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War. He was also Governor and Commander-in-Chief at Madras, India. He was also Lord-Lieutenant of East Lothian. He was succeeded by Arthur, his eldest surviving son.

Arthur (1824-1878), 9th Marquess of Tweeddale, married firstly Helena Eleanora Augusta, daughter of Count de Kielmansegge, a Hanoverian Minister to the Court of St. James. She was a Lady of the Bedchamber to the Princess of Wales. Arthur was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Grenadier Guards. He was succeeded by his younger brother, William Montagu.

William Montagu (1826-1911), 10th Marquess of Tweeddale, married Candida Louise, daughter of Vincenzo Bartolucci, of Cantiano Marche, Italy. He served in the Bengal Civil Service, 1845-1862, and was MP for Taunton, 1865-1868, and for Haddington Burghs, 1878. In 1881 he was created Baron Tweeddale, of Yester.

The present holder of the Marquessate is insurance broker Edward Douglas John Hay (b. 1947), 13th Marquess of Tweeddale, grandson of William Montagu. His heir is a younger twin brother, Lord Charles David Montagu Hay.

The hereditary seat of the Marquesses of Tweeddale is Yester House, Gifford, near Haddington, East Lothian.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Correspondence with Lorimer, among correspondence purchased London, 1974, Accession no. E74.14.


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's who 1995. London: A. and C. Black, 1995.

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 material related to the Marquessate of Tweeddale (check the Indexes for more details): signature of the 2nd Marquess, 1693, at Dc.3.87, p.25; letter from the 4th Marquess to Rev. Mr. Robert Wallace at Yester, 1753, at La.II.96/1; material relating to the 8th Marquess at La.II.509; letters of 8th Marquess to Dr. James Cleland thanking him for the gift of statistical work, probably Enumeration of the inhabitants of the city of Glasgow, 1832, at Gen. 748; letter of the 9th Marquess to Sir A. Geikie, 1872, at Gen. 526; letter of the 10th Marquess to Sir W. Muir, 1891, at Dk.2.14, p.13, and portrait photograph; correspondence of the 11th Marquess with C. Sarolea, 1944, at Sar.Coll. 140; and, Violet Tweeddale, daughter-in-law of 10th Marquess, wife of his son Edward Douglas John.

In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes several locations of material related to the Marquesses of Tweeddale.