Alexander Montgomerie - 10th Earl of Eglinton

Alexander Montgomerie

Born Feb 10, 1723
Died Oct 25, 1769 near Ardrossan
Alias: 
10th Earl of Eglinton
Lord Eglinton
Biography: 

Son of Alexander Montgomerie (ca. 1660-1728/1729), 9th Earl of Eglinton and Susanna Kennedy (1689-1780). Brother of Lady Margaret Macdonald and Archibald Montgomerie, 11th Earl of Eglinton.1 Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1750-51. When in London (from 1760 to 1763 at the least) he stayed in Queen Street, Mayfair. According to Boswell, he kept a mistress, Ms. or Mrs. Brown, who, in 1763, "had lived with him seven or eight years".2

On October 24, 1769 the Lord was shot on his own estate near Ardrossan, Scotland by excise officer Mungo Campbell following a dispute about the latter's right to bear arms on the Earl's grounds. Lord Eglinton died from his wounds on the next day. At the time of his death he was engaged to be married to Jane (or Jean) Montgomerie, daughter of John Maxwell and widow of James Montgomerie of Lainshaw, the brother of James Boswell's wife Margaret.3

  • 1. The present Earl is Archibald George Montgomerie (b. 1939), son of the 17th Earl Archibald William Alexander Montgomerie (1914-1966). He holds the titles of 18th Earl of Eglinton and 6th Earl of Winton. As several of his predecessors he is an active freemason, who has served as assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. He is a former member of the London Stock Exchange, and has held several directorships in various trusts and funds.
  • 2.  Boswell's London Journal 1762-1763, Entry March 10, 1763
  • 3. The source of some information in this article is The Dictionary of National Biography, 1921-22.
Life with Boswell: 

Lord Eglinton introduced the young James Boswell to the joys of London life during his 1760 stay in the city. After Boswell's arrival back in London in 1762, he wanted the Lord to use his influence with Prime Minister Bute to secure him a position in the Guards, and the Lord did deliver a letter from Boswell to Bute, but to no avail.

Although Boswell sometimes doubted the Lord's sincerity they remained good friends during Boswell's 1762-63 stay in the city, despite occasional misunderstandings.1. Boswell often dined and slept at the Lord's house, especially during the spring of 1763, and he forgave the Lord for his flaws which (Boswell eventually thought) could not be helped.

On January 24, 1763 Boswell writes about "the love which I cannot help having for this very agreeable nobleman". In his entry for January 25, 1763 he quotes one of the longest conversations in his journals, in which he talked with Lord Eglinton about their disagreements and their love for each other. At one point Boswell described "how my heart melted with tenderness, genuine candor, and joy".

Boswell was greatly saddened by the death of the Lord in 1769.

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