David Wemyss ~ Jacobite Army Officer

David Wemyss (6th Earl of Wemyss – Lord Elcho) – Jacobite army officer born 12 August 1721. After Winchester College, Wemyss was sent to Angers military academy. Whilst in Rome (1740-41), he met James Stuart (James III of Scotland). By February 1744, Wemyss was a colonel of dragoons and a member of the Royal Company of Archers. During the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, Wemyss served as an aide-de-camp to Bonnie Prince Charlie and as a member of the prince’s council. Wemyss fought at the Battle of Prestonpans (21 September 1745) and took part in the invasion of England. At Derby, Wemyss counselled Prince Charles to return to Scotland. He took part in the siege of Falkirk (17 January 1746) and the Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746). After the Jacobite defeat at Culloden, Wemyss made his way to France by ship – the frigate Mars – (in the company of several other prominent Jacobites including the Duke of Perth). He never returned home. Instead, he developed his military career within the service of Louis XV: captain in the Fitzjames’ Regiment and colonel in the Royal Scots. For his service to Louis XV, Wemyss was awarded the Order of Military Merit in July 1770. Back in Scotland, with the act of attainder (1746), Wemyss lost his titles and land, though after his father’s death, he still employed the title 6th Earl of Wemyss. After leaving military service, Wemyss spent his time in France and Switzerland. He married in 1776 (Baroness Sofie Frederikke Vilhelmine Yxkull-Gyllenband) but his wife died a year later in childbirth. David Wemyss died 29 April 1787 and is buried with his wife at Bole in Switzerland.