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Information on the Parish of Mertoun in Scotland.
The title was created in 1833 for George Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Marquess of Stafford and is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.
A series of marriages by members of the family made the Dukes of Sutherland one of the richest landowning families in United Kingdom.
The family seat was originally Lilleshall Hall, and later, family seats included Trentham Hall, Dunrobin Castle and now, Mertoun House. The family's London home around 1900 was Stafford House, considered to be one of the most valuable private residences at the time.
The Gower family are descended from Sir Thomas first Baronet of Sittenham (1620), whose son married Frances Leveson, daughter of Sir John Leveson. Their younger son, William, the 4th Baronet, assumed the additional surname of Leveson. Sir William married Lady Jane Granville, daughter of John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath and sister of Grace carteret, 1st Countess Granville. Their son, John 5th baronet, was raised to the Peerage as Baron Gower of Sittenham. His son, 2nd Baron Gower served three times as Lord Privy Seal. In 1746 he was created Viscount Trentham and Earl Gower. His eldest son from his first marriage, John, 2nd Earl was also a prominent politician. In 1786 he was created Marquess of Stafford. He married, secondly, Lady Louisa Egerton, daughter of the 1st Duke of Bridgewater. His son from his third marriage to Lady Susanna Stewart, Lord Granville Leveson-Gower was created Earl Granville in 1833, a revival of a title previously held by his great-great-aunt in 1715. Lord Stafford's eldest son from his second marriage to Lady Louisa, George, married Elizabeth Gordon, 19th Countess of Sutherland. In 1833 George was created Duke of Sutherland. In 1803 he had succeeded to the vast estates of his uncle Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. On his death the estates were to pass, according to his uncle's will, to the third son Lord Francis Leveson-Gower who then assumed the surname, by Royal licence, of Egerton. In 1846 he was created Viscount Brackley and Earl of Ellesmere. The Duke was succeeded by his eldest son, also George. On the death of his mother in 1839, he became Earl of Sutherland and Lord Strathnaver. His eldest son, 3rd Duke, married Anne Hay-Mackenzie who in 1864 was created Countess of Cromarty. The 5th Duke succeeded in 1913. When he died in 1963, the line of the eldest son of the 1st Duke failed. Having died childless, the Earldom of Sutherland and Lordship of Starthnaver was inherited by his niece, Elizabeth. The Dukedom, however, could only pass through the male line, and it passed to John Sutherland Egerton, 5th Earl of Ellesmere, who became 6th Duke of Sutherland. He was the great-great-grandson of the first Earl of Ellesmere, the third son of the first Duke of Sutherland. On his death, childless, in 2000, the title passed to his first cousin, once removed, Francis Ronald Egerton, the 7th and present holder of the Dukedom of Sutherland. His elder son, James Granville Egerton, Marquess of Stafford is Heir Apparent.
Back to: The Adjacent Parish of Mertoun