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Baronets of Nova Scotia: Sir James Grant Suttie & Sir Francis Ogilvy

One of the last dreams of King James VI of Scotland in 1624 (who of course had also become James I of England on the death of Queen Elizabeth I) was to establish a Scottish colony in Nova Scotia which is today a Province of Canada. It was the brainchild of Sir William Alexander of Menstrie, Earl of Sterling and Viscount of Canada who alas died bankrupt in 1644.

The dream was scarcely realised because, although initially his son Charles I proceeded with great enthusiasm, he ceded the colony to France only eight years later in 1632. However it was a bold notion. In return for pledging 1000 marks and/or sending men to farm there on generous grants of land, its sponsors could receive a Baronetcy of Nova Scotia and Scotland. An area of land in Edinburgh Castle was declared Nova Scotian territory so the titles could be there bestowed and in 1953 the Premier of Nova Scotia unveiled a plaque there in commemoration.

Two families closely connected with us at Prestoungrange hold Nova Scotia baronetcies to this day - Sir James Grant Suttie whose father was the last in his family to hold the barony of Prestoungrange until 1998 and who now lives at North Berwick since a grant (actually without benefit of land) from Queen Anne in 1702; and Sir Francis Ogilvy who is in residence at Wintoun House in Pencaitland where several of the Baron Courts functions have been held in recent years since a grant in 1626.

An excellent summary is available from Marie Fraser

In particular to make the baronetcies that much more attractive a fine medal was struck for each of the initial recipients as shown below.

For the record... in the Official Order of Precedence in Scotland, Baronets rank ahead of Scottish Barons - a matter that caused much anguish at the time of their introduction in the early 17th century.

Click on image to enlarge

Published Date: March 5th 2003

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