Earl of Sutherland
adapted from en.wikipedia.org
Creation date - 1230 by Alexander II of Scotland Peerage - Peerage of Scotland First holder - William de Moravia Present holder - Elizabeth Sutherland, 24th Countess Heir apparent - Alistair Charles St Clair Sutherland Subsidiary titles - Lord Strathnaver
Earl of Sutherland is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created circa 1230 for William de Moravia. The Earl of Sutherland is also the Chief of Clan Sutherland.
The original line of earls of Sutherland had the surname "de Moravia" although they sometimes used the surname "Sutherland", taken from their hereditary title. The name de Moravia meant "of Moray" or "of Murray". The de Moravias who were Earls of Sutherland and chiefs of Clan Sutherland shared their paternal ancestry with the chiefs of Clan Murray who were Earls and later Dukes of Atholl. However the de Moravias of Sutherland were the senior line of the family.
Elizabeth de Moravia, 10th Countess of Sutherland, married Adam Gordon, a younger son of George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly, chief of Clan Gordon. Their first son is Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland, whose descendants were several of the next Earls of Sutherland, who all used the surname Gordon. The title was again held by a long string of men, until the death of William Gordon, 18th Earl, without sons, when the title passed to his daughter Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, 19th Countess of Sutherland then married George Granville Leveson-Gower in 1785; he inherited the title of Marquess of Stafford from his father in 1803. The Marquess held vast lands and wealth, having inherited from his father, the first Marquess of Stafford, from his maternal uncle, the second Duke of Bridgewater, and also holding much property associated with the Earldom of Sutherland, which belonged to his wife. He was made Duke of Sutherland in 1833.
The Duke's son, also named George, inherited the Earldom of Sutherland from his mother and the Dukedom of Sutherland from his father. The two titles continued united until the death of the fifth Duke in 1963. The Earldom passed to his niece Elizabeth, while the Dukedom had to pass to a male heir.
The subsidiary title associated with the Earldom is Lord Strathnaver (created 1230), which is used as a courtesy title by the Earl's or Countess's eldest son and heir.
The family seat is Dunrobin Castle, near Golspie in the traditional county of Sutherland in Scotland.
Ancestors of the Earls of Sutherland
Different sources give different accounts of the ancestors of the Earls of Sutherland. The generally accepted ancestry is that William de Moravia (William Sutherland), 1st Earl of Sutherland in the peerage of Scotland (d. 1284) was the son of Hugh de Moravia, who in turn was a grandson of Freskin, a Flemish knight.
However 17th century historian Sir Robert Gordon, who was a younger son of Alexander Gordon, 12th Earl of Sutherland states that William de Moravia (William Sutherland), 1st Earl of Sutherland (d. 1284) was the son of Hugh, Earl of Sutherland who was nicknamed Freskin, who was in turn son of Robert Sutherland (Earl of Sutherland and founder of Dunrobin Castle), who was son of Walter Southerland (Earl of Sutherland), who was son of Alane Southerland, Thane of Sutherland.
Although the original line of Earls had the surname "de Moravia", historian Sir Robert Gordon, who was a younger son of Alexander Gordon, 12th Earl of Sutherland, states in his book "A Genealogical History of The Earldom of Sutherland" that the original line in fact used the surname "Sutherland".
Elizabeth de Moravia, 10th Countess of Sutherland (Elizabeth Sutherland) (d. 1535) (married Adam Gordon, younger son of George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly)
Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland (son of Elizabeth)
John Gordon, 16th Earl of Sutherland (1661–1733) (changed his surname from Gordon to Sutherland)
Elizabeth Millicent Sutherland, 24th Countess of Sutherland (b. 1921)
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Alastair Charles St Clair Sutherland, Lord Strathnaver (b. 1947). The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Alexander Charles Robert Sutherland, Master of Strathnaver (b. 1981).
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