This family derives its surname from the lands of Primrose, in Fife.
DUNCAN PRIMROSE, who was seated at Culross, in Perthshire, in the reign of Queen MARY, married Janet, daughter of Main, of Arthurhouse, and had two sons,
GILBERT, principal surgeon to JAMES I and MARY;The second son,
ARCHIBALD, of whom we treat.
ARCHIBALD PRIMROSE, was employed by the abbott of Culross in settling the rate of the feu-duty to be paid by the vassals of that abbey, and in managing the revenues thereof.
He married Margaret, daughter of Bleu, of Castlehill, and had two sons, the younger of whom,
JAMES PRIMROSE, a lawyer of eminence, was appointed, by JAMES I, in 1602, clerk of the Privy Council, in which post he officiated for nearly forty years.
He wedded firstly, Miss Sibylla Miller, and had seven children, of whom Alison, the eldest daughter, married, in 1609, George Heriot, the celebrated court jeweller.
Mr Primrose married secondly, Catherine, daughter of Richard Lawson, of Boghall, by whom he had twelve more children; and dying in 1641, was succeeded by the eldest son of his last marriage,
ARCHIBALD PRIMROSE, who was appointed clerk of the Privy Council by CHARLES I, and created a baronet in 1651.
Sir Archibald remained faithfully attached to his royal master during the civil wars, and was constituted, after the Restoration (1661), a Lord of Session and Lord Register, when he assumed the honorary title of Lord Carrington.Sir Archibald married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Sir James Keith, of Benholm, and granddaughter of George, 5th Earl Marischal.
Sir Archibald had acquired considerable landed property by purchase, particularly the noble barony of Barnbougle and Dalmeny, which he bought, in 1662, from John, 4th Earl of Haddington.This gentleman had issue, by his first wife (with three daughters),
James, who pre-deceased him;Sir Archibald wedded secondly, Agnes, daughter of Sir William Gray, of Pittendrum, and had (with two daughters),
WILLIAM, his successor;
Gilbert, a major-general in the Army.
ARCHIBALD, one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber to Prince George of Denmark, and MP for Edinburgh in 1695, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1700, as Baron Primrose and Dalmeny and Viscount Rosebery; and created Lord Dalmeny and Primrose, Viscount of Inverkeithing, and EARL OF ROSEBERY, in 1703. Dying in 1703, he was succeeded by his eldest son, JAMES, 2nd Earl, of whom presently.Sir Archibald was succeeded, at his decease, by his eldest son,
SIR WILLIAM PRIMROSE, 2nd Baronet, of Carrington, who married Mary, 3rd daughter of Patrick Scott Esq, of Thirlestane; and dying in 1687, was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,
SIR JAMES PRIMROSE, 3rd Baronet, MP for Edinburgh in 1703.
This gentleman was elevated to the peerage, in 1703, as Lord Primrose and Castlefield, and Viscount of Primrose, with remainder, in default of his own male heirs, to those of his father, Sir William.
He married Lady Eleanor, youngest daughter of James, 2nd Earl of Loudoun; and dying in 1706, was succeeded by his eldest son,
ARCHIBALD, 2nd Viscount; at whose demise, unmarried, in 1716, the honours devolved upon his brother,
HUGH, 3rd Viscount, a lieutenant-colonel in the army, and engaged for some years in active service upon the Continent.
His lordship married, in 1739, Miss Drelincourt, daughter of the Dean of Armagh, but had no issue.
He died in 1741, when the peerage is supposed to have expired; though the baronetcy passed to the then representative of the family, his lordship's kinsman,
JAMES, 2nd Earl of Rosebery, as 6th Baronet.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Harry Ronald Neil Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (b 1967).
- James Primrose, 2nd Earl (1691–1765)
- Neil Primrose, 3rd Earl (1729–1814)
- Archibald John Primrose, 4th Earl (1783–1868)
- Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1809–51)
- Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl (1847–1929)
- Albert Edward Harry Meyer Archibald Primrose, 6th Earl (1882–1974)
- Archibald Ronald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1910-31)
- Neil Archibald Primrose, 7th Earl (b 1929)
DALMENY HOUSE, South Queensferry, is the seat of the Earls of Rosebery.
It is set in parkland overlooking the Firth of Forth, just west of Edinburgh.
When Dalmeny House was completed in 1817, it marked a great departure in Scottish architecture.
Its Tudor-Gothic style, with its highly-decorated chimneys and crenellations, looked back toward fanciful 16th-century English mansions, such as Hampton Court.
The house was designed by a University friend of the 4th Earl of Rosebery, William Wilkins, who would go on to design the National Gallery in London and much of King's College, Cambridge - parts of which closely resemble Dalmeny.
With its Gothic Great Hall and corridor, its large, formal regency apartments and its sweeping views across the Firth of Forth, it is a house which combines comfort and romanticism, and which produced many imitations throughout Scotland.
Most of the principal rooms are in the Regency style, with the exception of the hammerbeam roof of the hall.
The house contains many paintings and items of furniture from both the Rosebery and Rothschild collections, as a result of the 5th Earl's 1878 marriage to Hannah, daughter and heir of Meyer de Rothschild.
Much of the French furniture and porcelain came from the family's English mansion, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, following the latter's sale in 1977.
Dalmeny also holds one of the United Kingdom's largest collections of Napoleonic memorabilia.
The house stands in a large wooded park and enjoys views across the Firth of Forth.
A public path runs along the shore, from Queensferry in the west, to Cramond in the east, although a passenger ferry across the River Almond that used to connect the path to the village of Cramond has not operated since 2000.
There is still a traditional agricultural estate of tenanted farms.
First published in December, 2013. Rosebery arms courtesy of European Heraldry.