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James Carnegie - Earl of Southesk (Courtesy Glenbow Archives, NA-1355-2)

James Carnegie


At the age of 32, James Carnegie, the 9th Earl of Southesk, travelled to Canada from his native Scotland in 1859, after being advised that it would improve his health that had deteriorated following the death of his wife. He wrote that the reason for his journey was to, "travel in some part of the world where good sport could be met with among the larger animals, and where, at the same time, I might recruit my health by an active open-air life in a healthy climate."

The Earl travelled though the United States to St. Paul, Minnesota and crossed the prairies, hunting buffalo along the way.

In September he began he travelled up the Athabasca River from Fort Edmonton and then following the McLeod River. He went up the Medicine Tent River, writing that he was now entering country that, "?no European had ever seen, where bears and wild sheep were certain to be abundant." They continued their journey over Southesk Pass, and down Job Creek and Coral Creek to the Kootenay Plains of the Saskatchewan River valley. Then the party rode up the Siffleur River, over Pipestone Pass, and down the Pipestone River valley to the Bow River. After camping below Cascade MountainJames Hector and James Carnegie, almost met each other on Pipestone Pass at a time when they were two of the very few Europeans travelling in the Canadian Rockies. Carnegie returned to England, and with his health improved, re-married and had eight children by his second wife.

In 1875 he wrote, "Saskatchewan and the Rocky Mountains" which described his travels.

According to Bryan Hamilton, the Earl lived until 1905 and Bryan's grandmother, whose father managed the Carnegie estate, said that the Earl repeatedly told tales of his trip to her and his granddaughter, Lady Moira Carnegie.

Southesk CairnMount SoutheskMount La GraceMount TomaMount McBeath that were named to honour others in the Earl's party.]

[Additional information: "The Canadian Rockies" by Esther Fraser; pg. 57]

[Additional information: "A Sportsman in the Rocky Mountains" by The Earl of Southesk"; one of the "Tales of the Canadian Rockies" edited by Brian Patton]