John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair

John Dalrymple, 1st Earl Of Stair

John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair

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John Dalrymple the Master of Stair (born 1648 – 8 January 1707) was a Scottish noble who played a crucial role in the 1707 Treaty of Union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, that created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

The son of James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount of Stair, John Dalrymple was born at Stair House in the parish of Stair, in Kyle, Ayrshire. He served under King James VII, but as a dominant force in the Scots Parliament he helped bring about the 1688 accession of William II to the throne. In 1689 the king rewarded him with the position of Lord Advocate and in 1691 he was appointed Joint Secretary of State over Scotland with James Johnston.

Dalrymple is most remembered for his part in the 1692 Massacre of Glencoe. In 1695, the Scottish parliament demanded an enquiry into the massacre, and when the report from the enquiry was complete, they voted that "the killing of the Glencoe men was murder". Responsibility for the crime lay with the King's Scottish ministers, but King William was guilty of a "great breach of duty" (Macaulay's words) in shielding the Master of Stair from any punishment beyond dismissal from the Secretaryship of State. He returned to government in 1700 as a member of the Privy Council of Scotland. The Master of Stair, was created first Earl of Stair in 1703 by Queen Anne.

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