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Peter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian

Peter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian

British politician
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro British politician
Countries United Kingdom
Occupations Politician
Gender male
Birth 8 September 1922
Death 11 October 2004
Education Ampleforth College, Christ Church
The details

Peter Francis Walter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian, KCVO (8 September 1922 – 11 October 2004) was a British peer, politician and landowner. He was the son of Captain Andrew William Kerr by his wife, Marie Kerr. Both of his parents were male-line descendants of William Kerr, 5th Marquess of Lothian.

Kerr's father, Andrew Kerr, and grandfather, Lord Walter Kerr, were officers in the Royal Navy. He was educated at Ampleforth College and Christ Church, Oxford, and joined the Scots Guards. He succeeded his cousin, Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian, in 1940, and married a distant cousin, Antonella Newland (d. 2007), daughter of Major General Sir Foster Newland, on 30 April 1943. Lord and Lady Lothian had six children: two sons and four daughters. His wife pursued her own career as a journalist, and founded the Women of the Year Lunch. The family were mainly based at their estates in the Borders, at Newbattle Abbey and Monteviot. The 11th Marquess had left Blickling Hall in Norfolk to the National Trust. Another family house at Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire was opened to the paying public in 1952.
Lothian took part in the Wolfenden inquiry into the UK's laws on homosexuality and prostitution in 1954. He joined the UK's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly during the Suez crisis in 1956, and was later sent as a delegate to the Council of Europe in 1959 and the Western European Union. He served as Parliamentary private secretary to the Foreign Secretary, Lord Home, from 1960, and was also a whip in the House of Lords. He served as a junior minister at the Ministry of Health during the short period of Lord Home's term as Prime Minister in 1964. He returned to the Foreign Office with Lord Home in 1970, serving as parliamentary under-secretary for two years. He was nominated as a member of the European Parliament in 1973, when the UK joined the European Economic Community.
Lord Lothian retired from politics in 1977, after which he served as Lord Warden of the Stannaries, Keeper of the Privy Purse to the Duke of Cornwall, and Chairman of the Prince's Council for the Duchy of Cornwall. He was appointed KCVO in 1983. He was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers, commandant of the Special Constabulary in the Scottish Borders, and a Knight of Malta.
He returned the Franciscan monastery of San Damiano, near Assisi, to the Franciscan Friars Minor in 1979, and he ceded control of Monteviot and Melbourne House to his elder and younger son, respectively, in the 1980s, to take on the restoration of Ferniehirst Castle in Roxburghshire.

Titles and styles

  • Peter Kerr Esq (1922–1940)
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess of Lothian (1940–1973)
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess of Lothian MEP (1973–1975)
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess of Lothian (1975–1983)
  • The Most Hon. The Marquess of Lothian KCVO (1983–2004)


The 12th Marquess married Antonella Newland on 30 April 1943. They had the following issue:

  • Lady Mary Marianne Anne Kerr (20 March 1944) she married Count Charles of Westenholz on 6 April 1971. They have three sons and five grandchildren:
    • Count Alexander Peter Frederick von Westenholz (7 August 1971)
    • Count Mark Henry Cosimo von Westenholz (8 January 1973) he married Melissa Sanders in 2005. They have three sons:
      • Count Otto Charles Michael von Westenholz (19 September 2006)
      • Count Ferdinand Rupert Henry von Westenholz (7 July 2008)
      • Count Albert Louis Alexander von Westenholz (21 December 2011)
    • Count Nicholas Anthony Philip von Westenholz (4 November 1975) he married Nicole A. Hayes. They have two children:
      • Count Maximilian Alexander John von Westenholz (20 September 2007)
      • Countess Isabella Charlotte Mary von Westenholz (19 October 2009)
  • Michael Andrew Foster Jude Kerr, 13th Marquess of Lothian aka Michael Ancram (7 July 1945), he married Lady Jane Fitzalan-Howard on 7 June 1975. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.
  • Lady Cecil Nennella Therese Kerr (22 April 1948), married Donald Angus Cameron, 27th Chief of Clan Cameron on 1 June 1974. They have four children and five grandchildren:
    • Catherine Mary Cameron (1 March 1975) she married Henry Trotter. They have two children:
      • Alice Henrietta Trotter (12 May 2009)
      • Alexander Donald Trotter (7 March 2011)
    • Donald Andrew John Cameron, younger of Lochiel (26 November 1976) he married Sarah Elizabeth Maclay. They have three children:
      • Donald Fergus Ralph Cameron (3 July 2010)
      • Finnian Angus Peter Cameron (11 March 2012)
      • Rose Cameron (22 April 2014)
    • Lucy Margot Therese Cameron (5 July 1980)
    • Emily Frances Cameron (18 January 1986)
  • Clare Amabel Margaret Kerr (15 April 1951) she married married James Oliver Charles FitzRoy, Earl of Euston on 16 September 1972. They have five children and three grandchildren:
    • Lady Louise Helen Mary FitzRoy (11 June 1973) she married Charles Jerome Vaughan around 2008. They have one daughter:
      • Christabel Mary Vaughan (18 June 2008)
    • Lady Emily Clare FitzRoy (6 December 1974) she married Connor Mullan in 2008. They have one daughter:
      • Constance Mullan (2009)
      • Nancy Rose Mullan (July 2012)
    • Henry FitzRoy, 12th Duke of Grafton (6 April 1978) he married Olivia Margaret Sladen, daughter of Simon Hogarth Sladen, on 14 August 2010. They have two children.
    • Lady Charlotte Rose FitzRoy (10 March 1983)
    • Lady Isobel Anne FitzRoy (1985)
  • Lady Elizabeth Marion Frances Kerr (b. 1954) she married Richard Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch on 31 October 1981. They have four children:
    • Lady Louisa Jane Therese Montagu Douglas Scott (1 October 1982) she married Rupert James Trotter on 28 May 2011. They have two children:
      • Molly Elizabeth Jane Trotter (20 August 2012)
      • Robin Peter Trotter (21 May 2014)
    • Walter John Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, Earl of Dalkeith (2 August 1984) he married Elizabeth Cobbe on November 22, 2014.
    • Lord Charles David Peter Montagu Douglas Scott (b. 20 April 1987)
    • Lady Amabel Clare Alice Montagu Douglas Scott (23 June 1992)
  • Lord Ralph William Francis Joseph Kerr (b. 1957) he married Lady Virginia FitzRoy on 6 September 1980 and were divorced in 1987. He remarried Marie-Claire Black in 1988. They have six children:
    • John Walter Donald Peter Kerr (8 August 1988)
    • Frederick James Michael Ralph Kerr (1989)
    • Francis Andrew William George Kerr (1991)
    • Amabel Amy Antonella Kerr (5 January 1995)
    • Minna Alice Priscilla Elizabeth Kerr (31 March 1998)
    • Hugh Alexander Thomas Joseph Kerr (15 August 1999)

His elder son, the Conservative politician Michael Ancram, succeeded to the marquessate on his death. Owing to changes in the composition of the House of Lords to exclude hereditary peers, the current Lord Lothian was able to continue his career in the House of Commons until retiring in 2010. He thereafter joined the House of Lords upon being granted a life peerage.

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