Kinnaird castle has been home to the Carnegie family, the Earls of Southesk, for more than 600 years. In 1400 Duthac Carnegie married Mariota of Kinnaird and the Castle dates from that time. Early records were lost in 1452 when the castle was burnt down after the battle of Brechin. The Carnegies were, for once, on the winning side supporting the King but unfortunately the Earl of Crawford, who was on the losing side, took revenge on those who had fought against him.
The titles came in the 17th century after two consecutive generations served the crown (Lord Carnegie 1616, Earl of Southesk 1633). The Castle’s most famous resident was James, Marquis of Montrose. He married Magdalene, daughter of the 1st Earl, in 1629 and they spent the first 3 years of their married life living here. He achieved great fame by leading the Royal army in the Civil War in the 1640’s, winning numerous victories usually against larger armies. Eventually he was betrayed and captured. He was then taken to Edinburgh where he was hung, drawn and quartered by his great adversary the Earl of Argyll.
The 5th Earl made the mistake of supporting the Old Pretender (who spent one of his last nights in Scotland here) in 1715 before leaving from the port of Montrose, after the failure of his rebellion. The Earl had his titles and lands confiscated.
The estate was bought back by the closest living descendant in 1764 and the Castle transformed by the architect, James Playfair in 1791 into a large but handsome house.
The family titles were regained in 1855 and at that time the 9th Earl employed David Bryce to remodel the house in high Victorian baronial style and it now boasts the largest collection of coats of arms on any private British building.
Only seventy years later, in 1921, the castle was severely damaged by fire and has been rebuilt over the last 80 years giving a chance to add the modern conveniences.
The family names associated with Kinnaird are confusing. Southesk and Carnegie were the titles until the middle of the last century when the current Duke of Fife’s father inherited that title from his aunt who went by the unlikely name of Princess Arthur of Connaught. She was, however, also the Duchess of Fife in her own right. The Dukedom was created when the Earl of Fife married the Princess Royal, daughter of King Edward VII, and it was recreated so that it could pass through the female line when it became clear that there would be no male heir.
On the death of the first Duke it passed, therefore, to his eldest daughter (later Princess Arthur). The Duff family came from the Moray/Banff area and until 100 years ago it held huge estates throughout that area and in Aberdeenshire.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.