John, 15th Earl of Glencairn, was born at Finlaystone May 17, 1750. He inherited the title from his brother. John was married to Lady Isabella Erskine, daughter of Henry David, Earl of Buchan. They had no children.
His life included many activities. He was an officer in 14th Dragoons. After he left the army, John took holy orders in the Church of England. He died at Coates
on September 24, 1796 and is buried in St. Cuthbert's churchyard, Edinburgh.
Upon his death, the estate of Finlaystone terms of the entail went to Robert Graham of Gartmor, eldest
surviving son of Lady Margaret Cunningham, who was eldest daughter of the 12th Earl. Three relatives claimed the Earldom itself. Sir Adam Fergusson, a
great-great grandson of Lady Margaret, placed his right to the title as heir-general of the 12th Earl. He was opposed by Sir Walter Montgomery Cunningham, who claimed as heir-male, being descended from Andrew Cunningham of Corsehill, 2nd son of William, 4th Earl of Glencairn. Opposition was also made by Lady Harriet Don, sister of last Earl. The House of
Lords on July 14, 1797 ruled that Sir Adam Fergusson had shown himself to be the heir-general of Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, who died in 1670. However, he had not proved his right to inherit the
dignity of Earl of Glencairn. Those honours remain dormant at this time.
The Court of the Lord Lyon - the official heraldry office for Scotland
The Court of the Lord Lyon is the heraldic authority for Scotland and deals with all matters relating to Scottish Heraldry and Coats of Arms and maintains the Scottish Public Registers of Arms and Genealogies.
Today the Court of the Lord Lyon is considering petitions submitted by Sir John Montgomery Cuninghame, Baronet of Corsehill and William Robert Bontaine Cunninghame - Graham, both seeking to be named Chief of Clan Cunningham a position that has been vacant since the death of the 15th Earl of Glencairn.