Carnegie, Sir David, of Kinnaird, Lord Carnegie and Earl of Southesk 1575-1658, son of Sir David Carnegie of Panbride and Colluthie, one of the commissioners of the treasury, by his second wife, a daughter of Sir David Wemyss of Wemyss, was born in 1575. He succeeded his father in the family estates of Kinnaird in 1598. In 1601 he obtained license from the king to travel on the continent for a space of two years. When James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English crown, Carnegie was appointed to escort the queen into England, and received for his services the honour of knighthood. In 1604 he was nominated a commissioner to arrange a union between England and Scotland. In the general assembly of the kirk he was an active supporter of the ecclesiastical policy of the king, and on 25 May 1606 received a letter from him thanking him for his services. In 1609 he was nominated a commissioner for reforming the university of St. Andrews. In the parliament of 1612 he was one of the commissioners for the shire of Fife, and was appointed a commissioner for considering the penal laws and in reference to taxation. On 14 April 1616 the king recognised his special services to Scotland by creating him Lord Carnegie of Kinnaird, and in July following he was appointed a lord of session, which office he retained till the death of James I in 1625. He was one of the royal commissioners to the Perth assembly in August 1618, when the obnoxious five articles were passed. In the parliament which met soon after, he was appointed commissioner for the plantation of kirks, as well as for the abolition of hereditary jurisdictions, and in August 1630 he was nominated one of the commissioners of laws, to which he was reappointed in June 1633. At the coronation of Charles I in the abbey of Holyrood on 22 June 1633 he was created Earl of Southesk. He was an active supporter of the ecclesiastical policy both of James I and Charles I. In 1637 he endeavoured without success to bring about a conference between the bishops and Alexander Henderson and other ministers in reference to the Service Book (Gordon, Scots Affairs, i. 17). When his son-in-law the Earl of Montrose, in February 1639, came to Forfar to hold a committee for the subscription of the covenant abjuring episcopacy, the Earl of Southesk refused to subscribe, as well as to raise a quota of men to aid the covenanters (Spalding, Memorials of the Troubles, i. 135). In March 1640 he and other prominent anti-covenanters were apprehended in Edinburgh and lodged in private houses under a nightly guard (ib. 200). He subscribed the bond of Montrose against Argyll in 1640, but after the reconciliation of parties which succeeded the king's visit to Scotland in 1641 he was nominated a privy councillor. On the triumph of the covenanters he submitted to their authority. By Cromwell's Act of Grace he was fined 3,000l. He died on 22 Feb. 1658, at the age of eighty-three.
Douglas's Peerage (Wood), ii. 514
Fraser's History of the Carnegies, Earls of Southesk (1867), i. 70-134
Robert Baillie's Letters and Journals
Gordon's Scots Affairs
Spalding's Memorials of the Troubles
Acts of the Parliament of Scotland.
Contributor: T. F. H. [Thomas Finlayson Henderson]