The Magazine of Scottish Heritage
Vol. 29, No. 2
By Archie Mckerracher
These are Your People
Eventually, a compromise was reached. The Earldom of Mar and Kellie passed to the cousin and heir-male, while the older Earldom of Mar passed to the nephew and heir general. Today, Margaret of Mar is the present and 31st Countess of Mar although she possesses none of the old estates. At the time of her succession in 1975, she was employed by British Telecom as a sales consultant.
John Francis Hervey Erskine is today 13th Earl of Mar and Kellie and head of the name of Erskine. He is Hereditary Keeper of Stirling Castle and as such presents the castle's key to the Queen when she visits her royal castle of Stirling. He lives modestly in a suburban street in Alloa, population 13,000, where his ancestors have lived for six hundred years. A house had been added onto the old Alloa Tower in 1690 but this was burnt down in 1800 and replaced by an adjacent huge mansion in 1824. This was demolished in 1959 and the grounds are now occupied by municipal housing estates. The Mar family remained closer to the people than most of the nobility. They brought prosperity to the town of Alloa, improved conditions for the local coal miners, and opened a glass works which still continues.