Civil War, Restoration and Rewards

James Boyd was the younger brother of Robert (the 7th Lord Boyd). In 1641 on the death of his nephew Robert Boyd (The 8th Lord Boyd) James inherited the title and became the 9th Lord Boyd.   James supported King Charles I during the civil war and was a member of the Committee of War in 1644 and 1648. The Boyd's' remained faithful to the crown which at first cost the family dearly, financially embarrassing the Boyd's by mortgaging many of their vast estates toSir William Cochrane of Cowdoun, merely to meet obligations to Charles I. In 1654 James was heavily fined £1500 by Oliver Cromwell during the 'Act of Grace'.  This was an act of pardon to the people of Scotland from the English Parliament that declared the people of Scotland for any crimes they may have committed during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.   Despite being in financial difficulty, over a period of time James was able to modernize and renovate areas of Dean Castle. The 9th Lord Boyd is said to have paid great attention to the trade of Kilmarnock, he was able to establish a local school in the Kilmarnock area during this time to educate the youth of the area. The 9th Lord Boyd's will was confirmed at Edinburgh in October of 1655, as he appears to have died in March 1654.    

In 1660, on the restoration of Charles II, Royal gratitude toward the Boyd's' was shown in the elevation of the 10th Lord Boyd, William, to the Earldom of Kilmarnock on the 17th of August 1661. It was in this same year that the 10th Lord Boyd and 1st Earl of Kilmarnock married Lady Jean Cunninghame, daughter of 9th Earl of Glencairn.


Further rights and privileges were presented to the town of Kilmarnock in 1672 after a second charter was conferred. In 1685 William the 10th Lord Boyd and 1st Earl of Kilmarnock was given the prestigious position the Master of the King's Game for Ayr. In 1692 the 1st Earl of Kilmarnock died and the title was passed to his son, also William, who died shortly after in 1692. William Boyd, 2nd Earl of Kilmarnock married Letitia Boyd the daughter of Thomas Boyd of Dublin in 1682 and they had three children together. Very little information is known about the 2nd Earl. The 3rd Earl, son of the 2nd Earl, again William, married Euphemia Ross and together they had one son also William Boyd who would later become the 4th and last Earl of Kilmarnock.


In 1707, the 3rd Earl voted for Parliamentary Union of England and Scotland, this put into the effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed the year before on 22nd July 1706. On the day the treaty was signed, the carilloner in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, rang the bells in the tune 'Why should I be so sad on my wedding day?'Threats of widespread civil unrest resulted in Parliament imposing a martial law throughout Scotland.


In 1715, the 3rd Earl supported the Hanoverian Monarchy by leading his men in to combat against the first Jacobite rising. He was referred to in an old Jacobite song: 

'The auld Stuarts back again, 

The auld Stuarts back again; Let howlet whigs do what they can, 

The Stuarts will be back again. Wha cares for a' their creeshy duds, 

And a' Kilmarnock sowen suds? We'll wauk their hydes and fyle their fuds, 

And bring the Stuarts back again.'


When reviewing a muster at Irvine of 6,000 men raised to put down the Jacobite threat of 1715, the 3rd Earl was accompanied by his ten year old son, William who 'appeared in arms with the Earl his father and graciously behaved himself to the admiration of all the beholders.' In 1717 the 3rd Earl died and was succeeded by young William, who was still only 13 years old.   William was the 4th and last Earl of Kilmarnock

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