Rutherford & Teviot

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The Earls of Rutherford & Teviot and The Duries of the Grange

Now, this was a strange lot!

George, Lord Rutherford of Rutherford was the great-great grandfather of William, Lord Rutherford, who died in 1624. He had three sons (Robert, William, Andrew) and two daughters (Isabel and Christine). The three sons inherited the title in succession. Robert was a Major General, and Governor of Majorca. His sons were Robert, Count Rutherford, Governor of Ostend; and William, Treasurer to the King of Spain. They must themselves have died without heirs, because the title passed to Alexander, who thus became 1st Lord Rutherford as well as Earl of Teviot (the title of the second son). He also must have had no issue, because the title would have passed to Alexander, except that he was a congenital idiot and could not inherit.

The Earl of Teviot's given name was Andrew. He was one of 10 children, Isabel being the youngest. Andrew's mother (and apparently Isabel's) was also a Rutherford/Stewart descendant from Traquair House and is a proven descendant of the Royal Stewarts. The titles passed through the female line via Christine, who married Robert Durie of the Grange, a sailor from Leith. (There is some mention of smuggling involving a Robert Dury and William Rutherford in 1617 and 1620.) Their first son, John, died, and William inherited.

There was also a daughter, named Christine after her mother. William, who died in 1662. passed the title to his son John, and on his death in 1724, it fell to his son, George Durie of the Grange. He died in 1751, and his son, David Durie, died in 1785 without an heir, and having lost the right to the title in 1762 after spending most of his time petitioning everyone in sight to recognise him, grant him an official job or a pension, and generally take him seriously.

He was the last Lord Rutherford until a New Zealand upstart took the name in 1931 when he was ennobled for inventing nuclear physics by discovering the neutron in Manchester. (Quite what the neutron was doing in Manchester is anybody's guess!)*

However, David had a sister Agatha, who married, possibly to a Rutherford thereby bringing any Rutherford title (if it even existed) back into that family .

The Grange lands originally included an extensive area from just outside Kirkcaldy to Rossend Castle (also known as Nether Grange) and belonged to Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange until his execution (see Rossend).

Now, all that remains is a small farm and farmhouse, to which the Duries have no claim.

Likewise, the family has, over the centuries, lost the Durie lands at Rossend, Craigluscar and Scoonie.

* Mustn't be rude, really. Ernest Rutherford was one of the greatest experimental scientists of all time. He more or less invented nuclear chemistry and nuclear physics; he discovered and named the atomic nucleus, the proton, the alpha particle and the beta particle; he developed the concept of nuclear half-lives laying the foundations for radiometric dating of the Earth in the process; and he achieved the first deliberate transformation of one element into another, which had defeated the alchemists for centuries.


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