Elizabeth Erskine

The portrait of Elizabeth as a child with her family appears happy and prosperous, and when she was married to her cousin by the Bishop of Edinburgh in 1806 the future of the two families looked rosy. But neither she nor her brothers produced a male heir, a circumstance effectively as disastrous as financial ruin to an elite family.

31 March 1782 (5) - before 1837 when her husband remarried
General Sir William Erskine of Torrie, d.1795
Frances Moray of Abercairney
The happy family in the portrait below, showing Elizabeth as a little girl, had more than their share of tragedy to come. Her eldest brother William (holding the fox's head) was 'generally understood to be a madman' according to Wellington, and his rash judgement caused trouble in the Peninsular war until he was declared insane in 1813, and committed suicide by jumping out of a window. Her second brother James, whose collection of Dutch paintings is held by the University of Edinburgh, died the same year. The third son also died without issue in 1836, around the same time as Elizabeth, who was also childless, and the estate passed to the Wemyss family.
Chapel connection
1806 (wedding, although it took place at Torrie House in Fife, not in Charlotte Chapel)
Married on
1 May 1806
Her cousin, James Moray
Related to
Fourth cousin of Christian Erskine, both descended from 2nd Lord Cardross.

Sir William Erskine and his children, David Allen 1788 (3)


  1. Caledonian Mercury 1 May 1806
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. National Galleries Collection online accessed 13 June 2010
  4. Peter Beauclerk Dewar, Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain: The Kingdom in Scotland 19th edition (Burke's Peerage and Gentry, London 2001) p.1053
  5. Old Parish Registers, Scottish Family History Centre

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