ERSKINE, James (1671-aft.1745).

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



21 Feb. - 22 July 1715

Family and Education

b. 1671, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of David Erskine, M.P. [S], of Dun, Forfar by Margaret, da. of Sir James Lumsden of Innergellie, Fife, wid. of Thomas Ramsay of Bamff, Perth. unm.

Offices Held

Ensign 1 Ft. 1694, lt. 1701, capt. 1707-aft. 1715.


Erskine, whose father represented Forfarshire before the Union, was disinherited in favour of his younger brother, the judge, Lord Dun. After serving under Marlborough in the war of the Spanish succession, he was returned, after a contest, for Aberdeen Burghs in 1715, described as a Tory who might often vote Whig. When his defeated opponent, John Middleton, petitioned, Erskine wrote to Lord Dun, 27 Mar. 1715:

I hope, brother, that you’ll make such answer to his (Middleton’s) objections that he’ll be ashamed of them. The Duke of Argyll stands his great friend. I’ll endeavour all I can to counter-balance his interest, for which reason I’ve drawn upon you for thirty pound, yet I assure you much contrary to my inclination, for upon my word I have it not of my own. You know those things cannot be done without money. I hope to manage so that you shall have no reason to think me extravagant ... I think to get some interest made with the Duke of Montrose and Lord Rothes. It is thought the petition will be brought before the bar of the House of Commons where little justice is to be expected but only interest determines, for though you’re not named in the petition you will be brought in for bribery.

He was unseated, after which nothing more is known of him except that he took an active part at the age of 74 in the Forty-five.1

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: J. M. Simpson


  • 1. V. Jacob, Lairds of Dun, 235-6, 249-55.