Letters of George Gordon (1770-1836), 5th Duke of Gordon

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-876
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      6 letters. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      Gen. 1981/116-117; Gen. 1995/28; Gen. 2040/57-58

Scope and Content

The material is composed of: letter to Dr. Roe regretting he is not able to vote in his favour, 1821; letter to Major Sparks congratulating him on promotion, 1836; letter to Sir Patrick Walker about the funeral of King William IV, 1835; letter presenting 'compliments to Messrs. Spottiswood and Robertson' and referring to a 'meeting of the Trustees of the late Duke', his father; letter from Bath, 1812, and referring to a subscription for a box at the 'Pantheon' which the Duke has no desire to keep; and, note indicating that the 'Duke of Gordon will be happy to see Mr. Robertson'.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Gordon was born in Edinburgh on 2 February 1770. As the 8th Marquis of Huntly, Gordon entered the 35th Foot Regiment under his brother-in-law Colonel Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond. He then raised an independent Foot Regiment, served with the 42nd Highlanders, and then was appointed to the 3rd Foot Guards, serving in Flanders. On his return to Scotland he raised a regiment on the Gordon estates which was inspected in Aberdeen in 1794 - the 100th Gordon Highlanders Regiment of Foot, or the Gordon Highlanders. He served with his regiment in Gibraltar and Corunna, then in Corsica, Wexford, and the Netherlands. In 1809 he commanded a division of Lord Chatham's army in the Walcheren Expedition. In 1820 he was made a Knight Grand Cross (G.C.B.)., and in 1827 he succeeded to the Dukedom of Gordon on the death of his father Alexander (1745-1827), 4th Duke of Gordon. That same year he became Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland, and Governor of Edinburgh Castle. Gordon was Captain-General of the Royal Scottish Archers, Chancellor of Marischal College, Aberdeen, Hereditary Keeper of Inverness Castle, and Grand Master of the Orangemen of Scotland. The 5th Duke married Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Brodie of Arnhill, on 11 December 1813. George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon, resided chiefly at Gordon castle, Banffshire, but died at his London residence in Belgrave Square on 28 May 1836.

The Duke had died without issue and his brother had predeceased him and so the Dukedom became extinct. Gordon Castle and its large estates passed to Charles (1791-1860), 5th Duke of Richmond and Lennox, who took the additional surname of Gordon. The Dukedom of Gordon was revived by his son, Charles Henry (1818-1903), 6th Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and 1st Duke of Gordon.

Access Information

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


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 8. Glover-Harriott. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1908. (2) 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

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 UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes several locations of Gordon related material.