By Keith M. Brown
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Additional resources for Kingdom or Province?: Scotland and the Regal Union, 1603–1715
The low number of peers with English mothers does not reflect the rate of marriages between the English and Scottish aristocracies, and there were a little under a hundred marriages between Scottish peers or their sons and English women, these being spread evenly throughout the period. The chief reason for contracting an English marriage was likely to be financial. Thus John Campbell, younger of Glenorchy, made a net profit of £54,000 from his marriage in 1654 to Mary Rich, daughter of the earl of Holland.
One result of this volatile land market was a massive increase in litigation, and by the early eighteenth century the court of session was popularly known as the land mercat club. The progressive use of their estates also ensured economic success for the aristocracy who could best afford improvements. 1600 political instability often qualified estate management with the need for military service from tenants. Long leases, and a strong emphasis on kindness (the cultivation of paternalistic relationships on the estate) remained a feature oflandlords' thinking, and military tenures survived in parts of the highlands into the eighteenth century.
While a small number of these noblemen were peers, the vast majority were untitled, although some were distinguished by hereditary baronetcies, first introduced in 1625, knighthoods, and clan chieftaincies. There is some reason to believe that nobility extended beyond the baronage to all their male descendants, a fact demonstrated by their right to display a coat of arms. These arms, regarded as outward symbols of nobility, were popular, and when the court of the lord lyon decided to create a public register of arms free of charge in 1672 such was the volume of business generated by real and spurious claims that it took five years to complete the register, and even after 1677 the court remained busy confirming claims.