- Peter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian
Kerr's father and grandfather were officers in the
Royal Navy. He was educated at Ampleforth Collegeand 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 GeneralSir Foster Newland, on 30 April 1943. [According to his wife's [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-2535987,00.html "Times"] obituary, their mothers were cousins, and they had first met as children.] 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 Abbeyand Monteviot. The 11th Marquess had left Blickling Hallin Norfolk to the National Trust. Another family house at Melbourne Hallin Derbyshire was opened to the paying public in 1952. [ Melbourne Hall was inherited via his great-great-grandmother Emily Cowper, sister of the 2nd Viscount Melbourneand mistress of Palmerston whom she later married. See [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20041019/ai_n12816774"Independent" obituary] (2004) by James Stourton for details.]
Lothian took part in the
Wolfenden inquiryinto the UK's laws on homosexuality and prostitution in 1954. He joined the UK's delegation to the United Nations General Assemblyduring the Suez crisisin 1956, and was later sent as a delegate to the Council of Europein 1959 and the Western European Union. He served as Parliamentary private secretaryto 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 Healthduring 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 2 years. He was nominated as a member of the European Parliamentin 1973, when the UK joined the European Economic Community.
He retired from politics in 1977, and Lord Lothian 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 Constabularyin the Scottish Borders, and a Knight of Malta.
He returned the
Franciscanmonastery of San Damiano, near Assisi, to the Franciscan friars minorin 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 Castlein Roxburghshire.
His elder son, the Conservative politician
Michael Ancram, succeeded to the Marquessate on his death, while his second, third and fourth daughters married the XXVII Chief of the Clan Cameron, the Heir Apparent to the Duke of Grafton, and the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry respectively. Owing to changes in the composition of the House of Lordsto exclude hereditary peers, the current Lord Lothian is able to continue his career in the House of Commons.
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/10/13/db1303.xml Obituary] , "
The Daily Telegraph", 12 October 2004
* [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20041019/ai_n12816774 Obituary] , "
The Independent", 19 October 2004
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