ON TUESDAY, June 26 in1866, John Francis Miller Erskine, Earl of Mar, was buried in the family mausoleum at Greenside Cemetery in Alloa, not far from the remains of Old St Mungo’s, the former parish church.

He had died the previous Tuesday evening at 10 o’clock at his home Alloa House.

The day was a solemn one. At Alloa House, a large group congregated to hear the sermon by the local parish minister the Rev William Shaw.

Following the service, Erskine was transported to the graveyard in a hearse drawn by four horses with several carriages following along behind containing family members, friends, and dignitaries.

Along the route of the funeral cortège, the streets were lined with respectful onlookers, all paying their final respects to the Earl.

All the local shops were closed, and as the hearse made its way to its destination, church bells tolled.

At the entrance from the then new to old burial ground, his coffin was carried by eight men into the mausoleum.

The pall bearers were the Rev John Francis Erskine Goodeve, his nephew, Colonel Walter Coningsby Erskine, his cousin, General Miller, another cousin, Captain Walter Erskine, son of the Earl of Kellie and now Lord Erskine, James Johnstone of Alva, Hugh James Rollo, Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, James Moir, a 10pm the banker in Alloa, and James Syme, a physician in the town.

The Rev A W Hallan, assisted by his curate, read the Episcopal Order for the Burial of the Dead, then the coffin was lowered. Family members threw earth on top of the coffin as is custom.

However, Erskine was not buried in the usual single coffin.

He was buried in three with the middle one being made from lead to preserve the body.

The outer coffin was covered with red velvet. The coffin plate was inscribed with his name and title, along with his other titles, Baron Erskine, Garioch, and Alloa. Eleventh Earl of Kellie, Viscount Fenton, and Baron Dirleton.

It also stated ‘Died at Alloa Park on the 19th Day of June 1866, In the 71st Year of his Age.’

Among other notable mourners were William Henry Drummond, Viscount Strathallan, Sir William Bruce of Stenhouse, Henry Home-Drummond of Blairdrummond, Robert Balfour Wardlaw Ramsay of Whitehill and Tillicoultry and Writers to the Signet in Edinburgh Patrick Blair and John C Brodie.

By the time of his death, his wife Philadelphia Stuart Menteath had predeceased him, and the couple had no children.