In 1628 Sir John Wemyss, who had been created a baronet in 1625, was raised to the peerage as Baron Wemyss of Elcho; and in 1633 he became earl of Wemyss, and Baron Elcho and Methel, in the peerage of Scotland. He took part with the Scottish parliament against Charles I, and died in 1649.
On the death of David, 2nd Earl of Wemyss (1610-1679), the estates and titles passed to his daughter Margaret, 3rd Countess of Wemyss, whose son David, 4th Earl of Wemyss, succeeded on her death in 1705. His son James, 5th Earl (1699-1756), married a great heiress, Janet, daughter of Colonel Francis Charteris, who had made a large fortune by gambling.
His son David, Lord Elcho (1721-1787), was implicated in the Jacobite rising of 1745, and was consequently attainted, the estates passing to his younger brother James, while the title remained dormant after his father's death, though it was assumed by Elcho's brother Francis, who took the name of Charteris on inheriting his maternal grandfather's estate.
A reversal of the attainder was granted in 1826 to his descendant Francis Charteris Wemyss Douglas (1772-1853), who had been created Baron Wemyss of Wemyss in the peerage of the United Kingdom in 1821, and had assumed the name of Charteris Wemyss Douglas on inheriting some of the Douglas estates through a female ancestor. Thenceforward the title descended in the direct line.
Earls of Wemyss (1633)
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.