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William Keith (abt. 1425 - 1482)

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Sir William "Second Earl Marischal" Keith
Born about in Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, Scotlandmap
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Died in Dunnottar Castle, Kincardineshire, Scotlandmap
Keith-1273 created 29 Aug 2013 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 1,894 times.

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IN 1457, James II. created Sir William Keith, first Earl Marischal. He was present at the Court held in Aberdeen on the 15th of May, 1457, when Lord Erskine’s claim to the Earldom of Mar was rejected.

His youngest daughter, Lady Egidia, married John, second Lord Forbes. Sir Robert, his eldest son, died in his father’s lifetime; and the Marischal himself died in 1475. He was succeeded by his second son, William, second Earl Marischal.

[NOTE: There is some argument that William's father, also William (Keith-313) was the actual 1st Earl Marichal. Source is provided below]

In the strife and rebellion of the southern barons against James III., the Marischal acted with sound judgment and moderation. He officiated in the Parliament of 1488, in which his duties were to keep guard and order within the House when Parliament was sitting.

He married Mariota, a daughter of Thomas, Lord Erskine, by whom he had issue—four sons. From his youngest son, John, the Keiths of Craig were descended.

He was succeeded by his oldest son, William, third Earl Marischal. In 1481 he married Lady Elizabeth Gordon, second daughter of George, second Earl of Huntly, by whom he had four sons and two daughters.

His eldest son, Robert, Lord Keith, married Lady Elizabeth, a daughter of John, second Earl of Morton, by whom he had two sons, William and Robert. On the 8th of January, 1506, Lord Keith and his wife received a charter of Auchincloich, Tortoll, and other lands. His daughter Lady Elizabeth, married George, fourth Earl of Huntly, in 1530.

In 1512 Earl William received from James IV. a charter as Marischal of Scotland. His two eldest sons—Robert, Lord Keith, and William—accompanied the army mustered by James IV. in August, 1513, which crossed the Tweed on the 22nd and invaded England. But valuable time was lost in besieging and taking the English border castles of Norham, Wark, Etal, and Ford, which gave the enemy an opportunity of mustering his forces and advancing against the Scots. The English army, under the command of the Earl of Surrey, was advancing northward, and messages passed between him and James IV. Although the King was exceedingly brave and determined, as general of an army he had no qualifications whatever; his idea of leadership was simply to make a stand-up fight.[1]


  1. Historic Earls and Earldoms of Scotland Chapter V - Keiths, Great Marischals of Scotland, and Earl Marischals Section II [1]
  • WikiTree profile Marischal-4 created through the import of Bobster_s Tree Aug 2011_2011-10-10_01.ged on Oct 10, 2011 by Robert Eugene Garcia.


Click the Changes tab for the details on contributions by Sir William and others.



  1. Historic Earls and Earldoms of Scotland Chapter V - Keiths, Great Marischals of Scotland, and Earl Marischals Section II [2]
  • The Complete Peerage. 1936, Doubleday. *Burke's Genealogical & Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage, & Knightage. London, 1938.
  • A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, & Extinct Peerages of the British Empire. London, 1866, Sir Bernard Burke.
  • The Lineage & Ancestry of HRH Charles Prince of Wales. Edinburgh, 1977, Paget, Gerald.

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No known carriers of William's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 18 Jan 2016 at 22:55 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Per Burkes Peerage 2003 volume 3, page 3426, his mother was Mary Hamilton, not Fraser

On 18 Nov 2015 at 22:51 GMT Stevenson Browne wrote:

Keith Second Earl Marischal-1 and Keith-1273 appear to represent the same person because: William Keith 2nd Earl Marischal is my ancestor. I would like to merge the two which have the same dates, parents, and spouse.

Thank you, Stevenson Browne

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