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12. Balmerino
Arthur Elphinstone, 6th Lord Balmerino (1688-1746)

Arms: Argent on a chevron Sable between three boars’ heads erased Gules, three buckles of the field.

Crest: A dove Argent with a snake Proper linked about its legs.
Supporters: Two Griffins Proper, beaked and armed Or.
Motto: Prudentis fraudis nescia.

SOURCE, NOTES & CREDITS: Blazon and B&W Illustration for background from “The Scots Peerage”, 4th Ed., Sir James Balfour Paul, Editor, 1904, Edinburgh, David Douglas, Vol.1 , pp 556-575. Text adapted by D.Q.Wedvick from “The Scots Peerage” noted above and Internet articles regarding Lord Balmerino.

Arthur Elphinstone was born in 1688 the youngest son of the 4th Lord Balmerino and 3rd Lord Coupar ( both in the Peerage of Scotland ). Arthur joined in the Jacobite rising of 1715 after the accession of the House of Hanover to the throne of Great Britain in 1714. He escaped after the Battle of Sheriffmuir to France and joined the French Army. In 1733 his father obtained a pardon for him and Arthur returned to Scotland. In 1736 his father died and his brother John succeeded as the 5th Lord Balmerino and 4th Lord Coupar. In 1745, Arthur joined the cause of Prince Charlie and succeeded his brother as the 6th Lord Balmerino and 5th Lord Coupar on 5 January 1746. He was appointed as Colonel of the 2nd Troop of Horse Guards by Prince Charlie and was captured at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746. He was tried before Parliament along with the Earl of Kilmarnock and the Earl of Cromartie. They were found guilty and sentenced to death. George II was perplexed and overwhelmed with personal applications for mercy on behalf of Cromartie and Kilmarnock, he is said to have exclaimed, with natural feeling, “Heaven help me, will no one say a word on behalf of Lord Balmerino !” . Cromartie was spared, but Kilmarnock and Balmerino were sent to the block at Tower Hill in London on 18 August 1746. Kilmarnock went first then it was the turn of Lord Balmerino. He bid the executioner to strike boldly and said, “For in that my friend will consist thy mercy. There may be some who think my behavior bold. Remember what I tell you (addressing a bystander) it arises from a confidence in God and a clear conscience.” Balmerino then knelt to the block, prayed for King James and his family, entreated forgiveness of his own sins, petitioned for the welfare of his friends and pardon to his enemies. These brief prayers finished, he gave the signal to the executioner; but the man was so surprised at the undaunted intrepidity of his victim, that he struck his first blow irresolutely, and it required two to dispatch the bloody work. At the time of his death Balmerino was age 58.

Lord Balmerino had no heirs, so the two peerages went extinct as well as being forfeited. His widow, Margaret, daughter of Captain Chalmers, died at age 56 on 24 August 1765 in poverty.

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor

Wedvick Armorial, 219, Balmerino, 2013 0424
Earl_of_Kilmarnock_1746.jpg Boyd_1455.jpg Balmerino_1455.jpg OrkneyHamilton_1696.jpg Nisbet_Memorial__01-1__20090916.jpg
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