James Erskine was born on 14th January 1677 to Charles Erskine, 5th Earl of Mar and his wife Lady Mary Maule, the daughter of George Maule, 2nd Earl of Panmure.

His older brother was 'Bobbing' John Erskine, later 6th Earl of Mar.

Erskine studied law and was raised to the bench on 18th October 1706.

That same year he was nominated as a Lord of the Justiciary, replacing David Home, and took the title Lord Grange.

He became Lord Justice Clerk on 27th July 1710 when he succeeded Adam Cockburn of Ormiston.

Unlike his more famous brother, he took no part in the Jacobite Uprising of 1715.

He went on to purchase the forfeited title Earl of Mar.

Around 1707 he married Rachel Chiesley, daughter of John Chiesley of Dalry and Margaret Nicolson.

Her father was infamous for murdering George Lockhart, Lord Carnwath, her mother's solicitor, so she was brought up by Robert Chieslie, or Chiesley, a Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

When she came of age, she inherited a fortune.

Described as 'wild beauty,' possibly in reference to her wild temper, the relationship ran into difficulties, with Erskine being unfaithful to her.

So, after 25 years of marriage and nine children – although two died young – the couple split acrimoniously.

She produced letters claiming her husband plotted against the Hanoverian Government.

Furious at the accusation, Erskine had his wife kidnapped in January 1732 from her home in Niddrie Wynd off the High Street in Edinburgh.

Following her incarceration in various places in the west, she ended up on St Kilda in the summer of 1734 where she stayed until around 1740.

She never saw her husband or children again, and died on 12th May 1745 on Skye aged 66.

Two years after his wife's abduction, Erskine resigned as a judge and focused his attention on being a Westminster parliamentarian, moving to London.

His ambition was to be appointed Secretary of State for Scotland, but this never came to fruition.

He also became well-known for his opposition to the Witchcraft Act of 1735, leading to him being ridiculed by other politicians who called him 'eccentric' or 'insane.'

By 1748, the expense of living in London caught up with him and he was forced at one stage to ask a fellow Scot for a loan of two guineas.

Through Lord Stair, Erskine was eventually granted a Government pension of £200.

He married his old flame Fanny Lindsay of Haymarket, and died in London on 20th January 1754 aged 75.