Cromartyshire

County

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Alternated with Nairnshire

Number of voters:

5-10

Elections

DateCandidateVotes
17 Feb. 1715ALEXANDER URQUHART 
15 Sept. 1727SIR KENNETH MACKENZIE 
25 Mar. 1729SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE vice Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, deceased 
21 May 1741SIR WILLIAM GORDON7
 George Mackenzie2
30 Dec. 1742SIR JOHN GORDON vice Sir William Gordon, deceased 

Main Article

Cromartyshire was controlled by the earls of Cromarty, who held the hereditary sheriffdom of the county. On 24 Jan. 1715 Lord Elibank wrote to the 2nd Earl of Cromarty:

I received last post a letter from the Duke of Montrose [leader of the Squadrone], wherein he desires me to solicit your Lordship in favour of Captain Alexander Urquhart ... so that if your Lordship be not already pre-engaged for one of your own relations, I beg it as the greatest obligation your Lordship can do me, that you will be pleased to use your interest in favour of this gentleman in the ensuing election.1

Urquhart was duly returned nem. con.2 In 1727 Sir William Gordon, whose daughter had married Lord Cromarty’s son, proposed to stand, but the ministry offered to pay a pension of £400 p.a. to Lord Cromarty, who was deeply in debt, if he would return his brother, Sir Kenneth Mackenzie. Gordon was persuaded to withdraw in favour of Mackenzie, who was returned unopposed, being replaced on his death in 1729 by his son, Sir George Mackenzie. The ministry failing to keep their promises,3 the 3rd Earl supported the Squadrone candidate, his father-in-law, Sir William Gordon, in 1741, against George Mackenzie of Farnese. In an unsuccessful petition Mackenzie claimed that he had been chosen by three of the five qualified voters, but that Gordon and the deputy sheriff had prevented his election by excluding him from the electoral roll and adding to it five unqualified voters, who supported Gordon.4 On Gordon’s death in 1742 he was succeeded by his son.

Author: J. M. Simpson

Notes

  • 1. Sir W. Fraser, The Earls of Cromarty, ii. 158.