Keith Places & People

Clan Keith People

George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal (c1553-1623)
The 5th Earl studied at King’s College, Aberdeen’s first University, and would later establish the city’s second, Marischal College in 1593.

He became Earl in 1581, supported James VI at the time of the Ruthven Raid and defended Stirling Castle in 1585 against the Raiders’ sympathisers. He was James’ Ambassador Extraordinary to Denmark, organising his wedding to Anne of Denmark. Due to the weather the wedding service ended up being held in Oslo. As a Calvinist he pursued and prosecuted the Earl of Huntly.

Robert Keith (1681-1756)
Trained at his namesake’s Marischal College, the Bishop of Edinburgh then Fife was a principle figure in the Episcopal Church.

His works as a historian include History of the Affairs of Church and State in Scotland, 1734, and a Catalogue of Scottish Bishops, 1755.
James Keith


James Francis Edward Keith (1696-1758)
The brother of George, 9th Earl Marischal, was born at Inverugie and studied at nearby Aberdeen then Edinburgh.

When he met George travelling to join the Jacobites under the Earl of Mar he decided to accompany his brother, a military partnership which recurred all their lives. They made for France when the Rising failed, returning briefly to fight at Glenshiel in 1719.

He was an officer in the Spanish army for nine years until 1730 when he joined the army of Russia. The Empress Anna made him commander of her bodyguard and after fighting in Turkey he became the Governor of Ukraine and commander in the war against Sweden.

When he left the Russian army he was offered the position of Field Marshal in Frederick the Great’s Prussian army. George became an ambassador for Prussia while James was made Governor of Berlin in 1749.

James died from injuries sustained at Hochkirch during the Seven Years’ War. Germany has several memorials in his honour.