Alexander, William, Earl of Stirling, was knighted by James I., who granted to him Nova Scotia for the purpose of colonisation. Later on Charles I. offered the dignity of knight-baronet in Scotland to any person who helped the colony by contributions. Ultimately Alexander sold his grant to France. In 1626 he was made Secretary of State for Scotland, and in 1631 Judge in the Court of Session. His original peerage dated from 1630. He aspired to poetry and wrote "Aurora," as well as some tragedies, and possibly the translation of the Psalms ascribed to James I. He died in 1640, and a cehtury later the peerage lapsed, though frequent attempts have been made to assert claims to it.