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Mar, John Erskine, 6th (or 11th) earl of

John Erskine Mar, 6th (or 11th) earl of, 1675–1732, Scottish nobleman, leader of the Jacobites. He was nicknamed "Bobbing John," probably because of his political vacillation. He succeeded his father as earl in 1689 and in the following years was generally a member of the court party. He was twice secretary of state for Scotland under Queen Anne and played a leading part in promoting the union (1707) with England. After the accession (1714) of George I, he made an effusive offer of his services but was dismissed. He then withdrew secretly to Scotland, where he raised (1715) the standard for James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, without orders from him to do so. The rebellion failed, largely through Mar's incompetence. He was defeated at Sheriffmuir and fled (1716) to France with the Pretender. He was attainted of treason in England, but his active dissatisfaction with the Jacobite court and his suspected treachery caused the Pretender also to break with him in 1724. Mar remained in exile until his death.

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Mar, John Erskine, 11th earl of

Mar, John Erskine, 11th earl of [S] (1675–1732). Debts being his inheritance, Mar entered politics in 1696 as placeman in the court party in Scotland, led by the duke of Queensberry until his fall in 1704. Mar rejoined him in office in 1705, helping him push the Act of Union through the Scots Parliament in 1707. Elected to Westminster as a representative Scots peer, by 1713 he was supporting a motion for repeal of the Union.

Having failed to attract the favour of George I, he sailed for Scotland to raise the standard of Jacobite rebellion on the Braes of Mar. The national response was spectacular, but he ruined the enterprise by sheer incompetence. After 1716 he lived in exile, until 1725 in association with the exiled dynasty, though after 1719 as a double agent currying favour with the Westminster government. He pottered with plans for economic improvement after 1725, but died unrestored to his estates.

Bruce Philip Lenman

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