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Kenneth Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth

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Kenneth Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth

Kenneth Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth FRS (15 January 1744 – 27 August 1781) was a British peer and politician and Chief of the Highland Clan Mackenzie.



Mackenzie was the son of Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord Fortrose (died 1761) by Mary, the eldest daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway. His paternal grandfather was the attainted William Mackenzie, 5th Earl of Seaforth, whose estates he repurchased from the government. The Earls of Seaforth descended from the ancient family of Mackenzie of Kintail.


Mackenzie was created Viscount Fortrose and Baron Ardelve in the Peerage of Ireland on 18 November 1766. He was a Member of Parliament for Caithness from 1768 to 1774. On 3 December 1771, he was created Earl of Seaforth (a new peerage, also in the Peerage of Ireland).

On 12 November 1772, Mackenzie was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel and raised a regiment, the Seaforth (Highland) Regiment in 1778. He sailed with them to the East Indies, but died at sea in 1781. He was succeeded as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant by Thomas Frederick Mackenzie Humberston.


Mackenzie married first Lady Caroline Stanhope (1747–1767), daughter of William Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Harrington by whom he had one daughter, Lady Caroline Mackenzie (1766–1847), who married Louis Drummond, Comte de Melfort (d. 1833) and had issue. He married secondly Harriet Powell (died 11 December 1779), the daughter of an apothecary. Sir James Balfour Paul describes her tactfully as "a fashionable beauty of the town", but Horace Bleackley is rather more explicit:

The graceful Harriet Powell, equally frail and famous, whose winsome face was portrayed in many a mezzotint, had spent her early youth as an inmate of Mrs Hayes's disreputable establishment in King's Place, but now at last she had become faithful to one man, and was keeping house with Lord Seaforth, the creator of a famous regiment.


Kenneth Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth Wikipedia