Noble, politician and industrialist. Son of John Kerr, the 7th Marquess of Lothian, he succeeded his older brother, William, as 9th Marquess in 1870. He visited Australia in the early 1850s and also brought back Assyrian art from Nineveh.
Kerr was a politician, who rose to become Secretary of State for Scotland. He served as President of International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art, which took place in Edinburgh in 1886, under the chairmanship of architect Sir James Gowans (1821-90). He was also notable for exploiting the Lothian Coalfields, forming the Lothian Coal Company in 1890 as a joint venture with Archibald Hood (1823 - 1902). Kerr built the Lady Victoria Colliery, which was named after his wife. He had married Victoria Montagu Douglas Scott, daughter of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch, at St. Mary's Church on the Buccleuch's estate in Dalkeith in 1865. He was given the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh in 1887.
He died in London, but was buried at Newbattle Abbey, the family home in Midlothian.