James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth

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The Earl of Perth
The 4th Earl of Perth.
Lord Chancellor of Scotland
In office
Monarch James VII
Preceded by The Earl of Aberdeen
Succeeded by The Earl of Tweeddale
Personal details
Born 1648
Kingdom of Scotland
Died 11 May 1716 (aged 68)
St Germain, Kingdom of France
Parents James Drummond, 3rd Earl of Perth and his wife, Lady Anne, daughter of George Gordon, 2nd Marquess of Huntly
Alma mater University of St Andrews
Religion Roman Catholicism (1685-1716)
Church of England (1648-1685)
Military service
Allegiance House of Stuart
Battles/wars Glorious Revolution

James Drummond, 1st Duke of Perth KT PC (1648 – 11 May 1716), also 4th Earl of Perth and 7th Lord Drummond, was a Scottish statesman, and Jacobite.


The eldest son of James Drummond, 3rd Earl of Perth by his spouse Lady Anne, daughter of George Gordon, 2nd Marquess of Huntly, he was educated at the University of St Andrews, and succeeded his father 2 June, and was served heir to him 1 October 1675.

Political career

In 1678 he was appointed a member of the Scottish Privy Council and supported Lauderdale's policy of giving up the disaffected western shires of Scotland to highland raids, before joining Hamilton's faction. He was appointed Lord Justice General in 1682 and an Extraordinary Lord of Session on 16 November the same year. He introduced the use of the thumbscrew in Scotland. He was also Lord Chancellor of Scotland, 1684 - 1688.

New Jersey

He was a partner with William Penn in the settlement of East New Jersey in 1681. As one of 24 proprietors of a large parcel of property that took up much of what is now the State of New Jersey, Perth sponsored an expedition in 1684 to establish a settlement there. The City of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, which sits on the waterfront facing Staten Island, New York, and which was once a port city in its own right, is named in his honor — a statue of Lord Perth stands in front of City Hall (the "Amboy" comes from an Algonquian word meaning "valley").

Roman Catholicism

In 1685 the 4th Earl of Perth converted to Roman Catholicism, along with his brother, the 1st Earl of Melfort. In 1686, Perth and his brother opened a Catholic chapel in Edinburgh, and their public attendance there resulted in a riot. Perth and his brother suggested to King James II that the Scottish Parliament would approve a repeal of the Test Act and penal laws against Catholics and Protestant dissenters, but this was later proved untrue. On 29 May 1687, nonetheless, he was made a Knight of the Thistle, being one of the eight original knights of that Order.

He is said to have had a novodamus, 17 December 1687, (on resignation) of his dignities, creating him Earl of Perth, Lord Drummond, Stobhall, and Montefex (Scotland), with remainder, failing heirs-male of his and of his brother's body, to the heirs-male of the second Earl.

Upon the Glorious Revolution, the Earl of Perth was imprisoned in 1689, first at Kirkaldy, then in Stirling Castle, and not released until 4 August 1693 on condition of a bond to leave the kingdom under penalty of £5000.

St. Germain

Monument for the brain of king James II & VII in Paris

He joined the exiled King at St Germain, by whom he was, on 19 August 1696, appointed Governor to the young Prince of Wales, and by whose testamentary directions he was, before 17 October 1701, created by King James III and VIII, Duke of Perth, Marquess of Drummond, Earl of Stobhall, Viscount Cargill, and Baron Concraig, all proclaimed as in the Peerage of Scotland (but in reality in the Jacobite peerage), with remainder to his heirs-male whatsoever. In 1701 he was recognised as a Duke in France by King Louis XIV.

On 14 February 1703, he was made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and on 21 June 1706 he was appointed a Knight of the Garter. He was afterwards Chamberlain to Queen Mary of Modena, and is said to have been created a Knight of the Golden Fleece by the King of Spain.

During James's exile, the Duke of Perth acted as the his ambassador to Rome, and after the King's death, Perth erected a monument to him in Paris.

Marriage and death

The Duke of Perth married:

He died at St Germain, was interred in the Scots Chapel, Paris, and was succeeded by his son and heir by his first wife:


  • The Jacobite Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, & Grants of Honour by the Marquis de Ruvigny & Raineval, London and Edinburgh, 1904, p. 145-6.
  1. Lady Mary Drummond at thePeerage.com
Political offices
Preceded by
1st Earl of Aberdeen
Lord Chancellor of Scotland
Succeeded by
1st Marquess of Tweeddale
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
James Drummond
Earl of Perth, Lord Drummond
(restored in 1853
for George Drummond)
Loss of title — TITULAR —
Earl of Perth, Lord Drummond
Jacobite Peerage
Succeeded by
James Drummond
New creation — TITULAR —
Duke of Perth, Marquess of Drummond, Earl of Stobhall, Viscount Cargill & Baron Concraig
Jacobite Peerage