The Earl of Shaftesbury (by His Majesty's Command) presented to the House A Petition of Thomas Drummond of Biddick, in the County of Durham, to His Majesty; praying, "That His Majesty will be graciously pleased to declare the Titles and Dignities of Earl of Perth, Lord Drummond, Stobhall and Montefex, to belong to the Petitioner;" together with His Majesty's Reference thereof to this House.
Which Petition and Reference were read by the Clerk, and are as follow; (viz t.)
"To The King's Most Excellent Majesty.
"The Petition of Thomas Drummond of Biddick, in the County of Durham, lineal and nearest lawful Heir Male to the Title and Dignity of Earl of Perth, in the Kingdom of Scotland.
"That the Family of Drummond is one of the most ancient and illustrious in Scotland: It was nobilitated in 1487, when Sir John Drummond of Drummond was, by His Majesty King James 3d, created Lord Drummond, and sat in the Parliament of Scotland accordingly as a Peer of that Realm: His Descendant and Heir Male, James the Fourth Lord Drummond, was on the 4th Day of March 1605 created, by King James 6th, (1st of England,) Earl of Perth, Lord Drummond and Stobhall, with Limitation of those Titles to his Heirs Male whatsoever: He died shortly afterwards, viz. in 1611, without Issue Male, and was succeeded, conformably to the aforesaid Limitation of the Honours, by his only Brother John, who thereupon became the Second Earl of Perth, &c.: He died in 1662, leaving James his eldest Son, the next and Third Earl, who deceased in 1675, and was succeeded by James his eldest Son, the Fourth Earl, a Person who, in his Time, was very prominent in the Affairs of State, and was constituted Justice General and High Chancellor of Scotland.
"That this Nobleman, James Fourth Earl of Perth, on the 11th of October 1687 executed a Settlement and strict Entail of his Estate, and soon after, viz. on the 17th November, (1687,) a Charter of Novo Damus was granted to his Son, The Lord Drummond, in Terms of the aforesaid Entail, whereby the Estate, together with the Family Titles, were again limited by another Patent, or Charter of Novo Damus, dated the 7th December 1687, which Charter conferred on him the Titles of Earl of Perth, Lord Drummond, Stobhall and Montefex, and confirmed the Honours and Estates aforesaid to the Earl, "and his eldest lawful Son, and his Heirs Male; whom failing, to the Earl's other Issue Male procreated or to be procreated; whom failing, to the Earl's Brother German John Earl of Melfort, and his Heirs Male; whom failing, to the Heirs Male of John the Second Earl of Perth."
"That by another Charter, dated 13th July 1688, confirmatory of the previous Provisions and Destinations of the Perth Honours and Estates, there was contained a Prohibition to alter the Course of Succession, sell, alienate or dispose of the Lands, a Prohibition to commit Treason, with divers other irritant and resolutive Clauses, to protect the Honours and Estates from Forfeiture or Eviction.
"That the said James Fourth Earl of Perth died in 1716, leaving James his eldest Son and Heir, entitled to be the Fifth Earl, who died shortly after his Father, viz. in 1717, leaving James his eldest Son and Heir, the Sixth Earl.
"That the said James the Sixth Earl, who was reported to have died of his Wounds received in the Battle of Culloden in 1745, did not so die at the Time propagated, but lived in Obscurity, and resided at Biddick, in the County of Durham, where he deceased in June 1782, and was buried on the 12th of the same Month, at the Chapel of Penshaw, in the Parish of Houghtonle-Spring: He married in England, and had Issue James his eldest Son and Heir, who died in 1823, leaving Thomas Drummond, Your Majesty's Petitioner, his eldest Son and Heir: That whatever Circumstances hitherto predominated to restrain Your Petitioner, or his Father, from laying Claim to their Family Inheritance, having now, as it is considered, ceased, Your Petitioner is advised, that whether in the Character of Heir Male, lineal and immediate, of James Fourth Earl of Perth; or as Heir Male collateral to John Earl of Melfort, the Remainder Man in the Patent or Charter of 1687 before-mentioned; or as Heir Male of Line and Provision to John the Second Earl of Perth, the ultimate Remainder Man in the said Patent or Charter; he is now the nearest and lawful Heir Male entitled to the Succession of the Titles and Dignities of Earl of Perth, Lord Drummond, Stobhall and Montefex.
"Wherefore Your Petitioner humbly prays, That Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to declare the said Titles and Dignities to belong to Your Petitioner; or that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to refer this Petition to the House of Lords, that Your Petitioner may prove before their Lordships his Descent, and Right to the same accordingly.
"And Your Majesty's Petitioner will ever pray, &c. &c. &c.
27th March 1830.
Whitehall, 15th April 1830.
"His Majesty, being moved upon this Petition, is graciously pleased to refer the same to The Right Honorable The House of Peers to examine the Allegations thereof, as to what relates to the Petitioner's Title therein mentioned, and to inform His Majesty how the same shall appear to their Lordships."
Ordered, That the said Petition, with His Majesty's Reference thereof to this House, be referred to the Consideration of the Lords Committees for Privileges; whose Lordships, having considered thereof, and heard such Persons concerning the same as they shall think fit, are to report their Opinion thereupon to the House.