Earl of Caithness

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coat of Arms of the Earls of Caithness (fourth award)

Earl of Caithness is a hereditary British title of nobility awarded four times in the Peerage of Scotland .


The title was first awarded to Maol Íosa (Malise) around 1334 . He already held the Scottish title of Earl of Strathearn and the Norwegian title of Jarl of Orkney . Although he was neutral in the Scottish War of Independence , his Scottish titles were stripped from him in 1335 and lands were confiscated.

The second bestowal of the title was created in November 1375 for David Stewart , a younger son of King Roberts II . His daughter and heir Euphemia renounced in 1402 in favor of her uncle Walter Stewart , who was already 1st Earl of Atholl. In 1428 he renounced the Earldom Caithness in favor of his son Allan. After Allan's death, the title returned to his father. The title finally expired in 1437 when he was executed for high treason.

The third bestowal of the title was in June 1452 to George Crichton, 1st Earl of Caithness . In a violent conflict with his son James Crichton, he gave up the title a little later so that he could not inherit it.

In the fourth bestowal, the title was created on August 28, 1455 for William Sinclair, Jarl of Orkney . He had already inherited the Norwegian title of Jarl of Orkney from his father and was raised to Lord Sinclair by the Scottish king around 1449 . When King Christian I of Denmark, Norway and Sweden gave his daughter Margarethe to King James III in 1469 . of Scotland married, she received Orkney and Shetland as a dowry, whereby these territories fell to the Scottish Crown Domain in 1470 and the title of Jarl of Orkney expired. William received in return Ravenscraig Castle in Fife . In 1476 the 1st Earl renounced his earl title in favor of his younger son from his second marriage, William († 1513); he did this to exclude his eldest son from his first marriage, William († 1487), from the inheritance. The latter only received the title of Lord Sinclair and Ravenscraig Castle. The 6th Earl agreed in 1672 that on his death his earldom should fall to Sir John Campbell, 5th Baronet, to whom he was deeply in debt. On his death in 1677, King Charles II issued a certificate of appointment to this effect on June 28, 1677 , but the 6th Earl's son was also granted the title of 7th Earl by law, and he also received his father's lands. Sir John Campbell finally renounced the Earldom and was instead awarded the title of 1st Earl of Breadalbane and Holland in 1681 . The 14th Earl of Caithness was given the title Baron Barrogill , of Barrogill Castle in the County of Caithness , on May 1, 1866 in the Peerage of the United Kingdom . With this title, in contrast to his Scottish titles, a hereditary seat in the House of Lords was connected. Today's title holder is Malcolm Sinclair as 20th Earl.

List of the Earls of Caithness

Earls of Caithness, first bestowed (around 1334)

Earls of Caithness, second bestowal (around 1375)

Earls of Caithness, third bestowal (1452)

Earls of Caithness, fourth bestowal (1455)

Title heir ( Heir apparent ) is the son of the current title holder, Alexander Sinclair, Lord Berriedale (* 1981)


  1. as Earl of Caithness with the subordinate titles Viscount of Breadalbane and Lord St. Clair of Berriedale and Glenurchy

Literature and web links