HAY, George, Visct. Dupplin (aft.1683-1758), of Pedwardine, Herefs.
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Family and Education
b. aft. 1683, s. and h. of Thomas Hay, 7th Earl of Kinnoull [S] by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of William Drummond, 1st Visct. Strathallan [S]. m. 11 Aug. 1709 (with £6,000), Abigail (d. 1750), da. of Robert Harley* by 1st w., 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 6da. Styled Visct. Dupplin 1709–19; cr. Baron Hay of Pedwardine 31 Dec. 1711; suc. fa. as 8th Earl of Kinnoull [S] 1719.1
Commr. taking subscriptions to S. Sea Co. 1711.2
Teller of Exchequer 1711–14; ambassador to Turkey 1729–34.3
Some degree of confusion was created by the fact that Viscount Dupplin used his Scottish courtesy title until he succeeded his father in 1719, although he had acquired a British barony at the end of 1711. His father, an important figure in Scottish politics, was a Union commissioner in 1701 and 1706. Dupplin himself seems to have come under the wing of Robert Harley in 1708 and married Harley’s eldest daughter the following year. From his position as Harley’s son-in-law came Dupplin’s seat in the Commons and ultimately his peerage.4
After his marriage, Dupplin retreated to Scotland with his bride. There he surveyed the events of early 1710. Dr Sacheverell he felt to be ‘an imprudent, hot-headed gentleman. If this be scandal, I beg pardon, but I think he deserves such treatment much better than any other.’ By May he was pleased by ‘the present turn of affairs’, and in August wrote to Harley that he had heard ‘there is a town where you can get me chosen’, which he was eager to follow up, being of the opinion ‘I can spend my time no where so well as in the House of Commons’. As he was returned for Camelford, it would seem that Harley’s contacts with George Granville* were essential in the acquisition of the seat. In September Dupplin arrived in England with a letter from the Duke of Atholl detailing the Tory electoral effort in Scotland, of which Dupplin had been a part, particularly in Perth. Indeed, Dr Stratford, the mentor of Dupplin’s brother-in-law Edward (later Lord) Harley*, ventured the opinion that ‘I know not how he can be spared at this time in Scotland’, disbelieving that there is ‘no occasion for one of his interest and authority to countenance the elections there’. Dupplin was classed as a Tory on the ‘Hanover list’ of 1710 and named as a ‘worthy patriot’ who had helped to detect the mismanagements of the previous administration. He was also a member of the October Club, which was confirmed by Boyer. Though his parliamentary career was uneventful, Dupplin’s political importance was great, given his father-in-law’s position at the head of the ministry, and Harley almost certainly found him a valuable conduit to Scottish politicians. To judge from Dupplin’s Scottish correspondents, he dealt in the main with applications for office and requests for political guidance. As a reward for his managerial efforts Dupplin received in August 1711 one of the coveted tellerships of the Exchequer, William Bromley II* writing on this occasion that Dupplin was ‘so pretty a gentleman, so generally well beloved’. In November Dupplin was given the task of summoning to London the Scottish peers. One observer wrote that Dupplin ‘is such an attender on public business that he is not to be seen’. Indeed, such was his reliability that Oxford raised him to the peerage as part of his creation of a dozen peers at the end of 1711 in order to bolster his majority in the Lords. In the Upper House he continued as a manager of the ministry’s Scottish affairs and remained loyal to his father-in-law, even when Scottish interests were at stake during the malt tax crisis of 1713.5
Unfortunately, these close links to Harley presaged difficulties after the Hanoverian succession. Lord Oxford correctly foresaw the removal of Dupplin from his lucrative tellership, which was mooted in October and finally executed in December 1714. Dr Stratford reported in November that Dupplin and his wife were to retire into the country to ‘suit their expenses to their circumstances’. However, he had not done so by July 1715 when he attended his father-in-law to the Tower. Worse was to follow in September when Dupplin was himself incarcerated. In December he attempted to secure his liberty, again protesting that his desire was to retire into Yorkshire ‘to pass my time there in a very private manner at a distance from all public affairs’. Dupplin’s profession of innocence could not be disproved by the ministry and when the suspension of habeas corpus expired he was released. He retired to his Yorkshire estate. His subsequent career was one of misfortune and financial hardship. He died at Ashford, Middlesex, on 29 July 1758 and was succeeded by his son Thomas†. His will referred to estates in Scotland and Yorkshire which had been settled for the benefit of his family. His sole executrix was a widow, Judith Sabreau, of Ashford, to whom he left his house there.6
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Stuart Handley
- 1. Add. 70079, Harley geneal. pprs.; 70266 copy of release; Collins, Peerage, vii. 210.
- 2. Pittis, Present Parl. 349.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. xxix. 238.
- 4. Seafield Corresp. 283; Boyer, Annals Anne, v. 13.
- 5. Add. 70148, Dupplin to Abigail Harley, 15 Mar. 1710, same to Harley, 21 May 1710; HMC Portland, iv. 552, 558, 597; v. 26, 33, 72, 96, 115, 121, 128; vii. 19; SRO, Mar and Kellie mss GD124/15/991/2, Dupplin to Ld. Grange (Hon. James Erskine†), 13 Aug. ; Party and Management ed. C. Jones, 132.
- 6. HMC Portland, v. 496, 531, 667; vii. 205–6; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxix. 238; HMC 7th Rep. 239; HMC Townshend, 162; Add. 38507, f. 183; 70148, Dupplin to Abigail Harley, 17 Sept. 1716; PCC 45 Hutton.