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Stirling peerage

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thereto ; and in order to substantiate this claim, he
thus, in his defences to the action of reduction-impro-
bation at the instance of the Officers of State, endea-
vours to make out his descent :
" The defender is the lineal descendant of Sir William
Alexander of Menstrie, afterwards created Earl of Stirling,
and is his nearest and lawful heir. The said first Earl of
Stirling was great-great-great-grandfather of the defender.
The defender connects himself with the said Earl of Stirling,
through the Honourable John Alexander, sometime styled
John Alexander of Gartmore, fourth son of the said Earl, as
follows: — The said John Alexander of Gartmore had an only
son, John, who married Mary Hamilton at Donaghadee, in
Ireland, and died in 1712, leaving an only son, the Rev.
John Alexander, and two daughters. The Rev. John Alex-
ander married Hannah Higgs at Hartlebury, in Worcester-
shire, and died in 1743, leaving two sons, John and Benjamin,
and two daughters, Mary and Hannah. Of these, John died
in 1765. Benjamin, who was the last heir-male of the body
" ' And whereas the General Court of this province has granted twelve
townships within the tract claimed as aforesaid, which grants now lie
before his Majesty for his royal approbation, in consequence of which
grants, a great number of families have actually settled in the said town-
ships, in order to fulfill the conditions of the said grant, if the same
should be approved.
"'For the preserving the peace of the said country, and for preventing
any intrusion upon the said country, until his Majesty shall be pleased
to determine upon the same, and for providing against the tumults and
affrays which will unavoidably happen, if any of the granters or lessees
of the said Earl of Stirling should offer to enter upon and take posses-
sion of the lands as granted, and actually settled, as aforesaid ;
" ' I have thought fit to issue, and do, by and with the advice and con-
sent of his Majesty's council, issue this proclamation, hereby declaring
the intention of the government to protect and defend the said lands,
and the inhabitants thereof, against the said Earl of Stirling, and all
persons claiming under him, until his Majesty's pleasure shall be known
therein; and cautioning all his Majesty's subjects against purchasing,
or taking leases, of any of the said lands under any person or persons
claiming under the first Earl of Stirling, as aforesaid.
" ' Given at the Council-Chamber in Boston,
the 7th day of September, 1 768.

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