WHICH DAY WILLIAM, EARL OF MORTON, IS MADE A BURGESS AND BROTHER
OF THE GUILD OF DUNDEE, FOR HIS PUBLIC SERVICES TO THE COMMONWEAL.
THE SAME DAY ROBERT, LORD OF DALKEITH, IS ADDED TO THE NUMBER OF
THE BURGESSES OF DUNDEE.
WILLIAM DOUGLAS, eighth EARL OF MORTON, was the son of ROBERT DOUGLAS of Lochleven, and JEAN LYON, daughter of JOHN, eighth LORD GLAMIS. His grandfather was that WILLIAM DOUGLAS of Lochleven who had charge of QUEEN MARY whilst imprisoned in Lochleven Castle, and who, after a life of strange vicissitudes, had become seventh EARL OF MORTON. The latter was succeeded in 1606 by his grandson, whose name is here enrolled. The eighth EARL OF MORTON was one of the foremost politicians of his time, and held the elevated position of Lord High Treasurer of Scotland.
It is stated that before the Civil War broke out he was (one of the richest and greatest subjects in the Kingdom. "Unfortunately for himself he cast in his lot with the Royalist party, and was repeatedly applied to for money to enable them to carry on the war. For this purpose he disposed of his extensive and valuable property of Dalkeith, together with several of his minor estates, thus depriving himself of an annual rental estimated at 100,000 pounds Scots. As an offset for this great sacrifice on his part, he received a Royal charter, dated 15th June, 1643, granting him the Islands of Orkney and Shetland in absolute right, with all their jurisdictions, redeemable only by the Crown upon payment of £30,000 sterling.
This charter, though apparently exact in all its terms, was ultimately repudiated by CHARLES II, and the Islands were once more annexed to the Crown by special Act of Parliament, in 1669. The EARL OF MORTON died in 1648, and was succeeded by his eldest son ROBERT, the issue of his marriage with LADY ANN KEITH, daughter of GEORGE, fifth EARL MARISCHAL (vide page 65). This son was the "ROBERT, LORD OF DALIKEITH," whose name appears on the Burgess Roll beside that of his father, and who became ninth EARL OF MORTON on the death of his father. This dignity he only enjoyed for one year, as he died in 1649, leaving a son, WILLIAM, who succeeded him, and who was made a Burgess of Dundee on 7th March, 1663.