Get Today in Masonic History into your Inbox. Sign up today for one of our email lists!

TODAY in Masonic History:

Facebook Twitter Google

William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock Passed Away

Today in Masonic History William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock passed away in 1746.

William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock was an Scottish peer.

Boyd was born on May 12th, 1705. He was educated in Glasgow and married to Lady Anne Livingstone. When he was 10 his father supported George I during the "first Jacobite rebellion" in 1715 (also known as "fifteen").

In 1745, during the "second Jacobite rebellion" Boyd initially supported George II. For unknown reasons he changed his support to Bonnie Prince Charlie, also known as Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender. Some of the reasons for his change of heart were influences from his wife, some personal affront or the fact that he had fallen upon hard times and was all but living in poverty.

Boyd was appointed to Charles privy council. He was also appointed a colonel of guards and later a general. Boyd fought at the battles of Falkirk and Culloden. It was there that he was captured due to a tactical error of his own creation. When he spotted a  group of Hanoverian soldiers, he believed them to be his own men and was promptly captured as he approached them..

Boyd was taken to the Tower of London where he was tried and convicted of High Treason. His initial sentence was that he was to be hung, drawn and quartered. Because of his rank his sentence was commuted to beheading.

Prior to his execution, Boyd wrote to a friend regarding a matter that troubled him greatly. While in Elgin, his regiment was in need of shoes. He arranged with the shoemakers in the town of Elgin to have shoes made for all of his men. For this he had paid the paid the town for the work. The money was to have been distributed to the shoemakers for their efforts. Word reached Boyd that the shoemakers had not been paid and he requested his friend go to an ally of his in the town and confirm whether or not the debt had been settled. He directed his friend to have his wife arrange payment if none had been applied to the debt.

Boyd was executed on Tower Hill on August 18th, 1746. He is noted for his support of Bonnie Prince Charlie and as one of the last three noblemen executed in Britain.

Boyd served as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland from 1742 to 1743.