Thomas Erskine -The 6th Earl of Kellie


Thomas Erskine, the 6th Earl of Kellie was an eminent 18th century musician, composer, Masonic Grand Master and bon viveur. Born at Kellie Castle in Fife, Scotland on September 1 1732, the son of the Jacobite 5th Earl Alexander and Janet Pitcairne the daughter of the physician, poet and Jacobite sympathiser Dr Archibald Pitcairne.
Erskine, who also had the titles of Lord Pitenweem and Viscount Fenton would become a talented violinist and composer who introduced the modern Classical style into mid 18th century Britain including the now recognised symphonic form.
The Grand Master of both the Scottish and English Masonic establishments simultaneously (the only man ever to do so). He was equally well known for his involvement in the Edinburgh Musical Society and drinking clubs of a dubious nature.
Many of his musical compositions were lost but with the discovery of the Kilravock Manuscripts in 1989 sixteen assumed lost works were re-discovered.
He died en route from a visit to a spa resort in Brussels on December 9 1881 at the age of 49.



An article on the life of Lord Kellie appeared in the August 2017 issue Number 94 of the excellent Scotland Magazine.



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