HAY, Lord Charles (c.1700-60), of Linplum, East Lothian.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1700, 3rd s. of Charles Hay, 3rd Mq. of Tweeddale [S], by Lady Susan Hamilton, da. of William, 1st Duke of Hamilton [S], wid. of John Cochrane, 2nd Earl of Dundonald [S], bro. of John, 4th Mq. of Tweeddale [S]. unm. suc. kinsman Sir Robert Hay, 2nd Bt., to Linplum 1751.

Offices Held

Ensign 2 Ft. Gds. 1722; capt. 33 Ft. 1727, 9 Drags. 1729; capt. and lt.-col. 1 Ft. Gds. 1743; a.-d.-c. to George II Mar. 1749; col. Aug. 1749; col. 33 Ft. 1753-d. maj.-gen. 1757.


Lord Charles Hay, a professional soldier, with ‘more of the parts of an Irishman than of a Scot’, was ‘so vain of having made a campaign ... [on the Rhine] in 1734, that he talked of it ever after and went by the name of Trentquatre’.1 Returned unopposed for Haddingtonshire in 1741, he attached himself to Lord Carteret, voting against Walpole’s candidate for the chairman of the elections committee. After Walpole’s fall he supported the new Administration, in which his brother, Lord Tweeddale, was secretary of state for Scotland, speaking from personal experience on the Hanoverians in December 1743 and January 1744. Next year he was present at Fontenoy, where, in his own words,

it was our regiment that attacked the French Guards: and when we came to within twenty or thirty paces of them, I advanced before our regiment; drank to them and told them that we were the English Guards, and hoped they would stand till we came quite up to them, and not swim the Scheldt as they did the Main at Dettingen.2

He voted for the Hanoverians in April 1746, classed as ‘Granville’, i.e. Carteret. Reported in November 1746 to be ‘confined raving mad’ and to have ‘been tied in his bed some time’,3 he did not seek election again. Nevertheless he became a.-d.-c. to the King in 1749 and was given a regiment in 1753. Promoted major-general in 1757, he was sent out to America to join the forces of Lord Loudoun, who put him under arrest in July for ‘uttering various opprobrious and disrespectful speeches’ about the delay in attacking Louisbourg. Remaining under arrest at Halifax and on board ship until he was sent home late in 1758, he demanded a court-martial, which sat from 12 Feb. till 4 Mar. 1760,4 but he died 1 May 1760, before a verdict was announced.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Walpole to Mann, 26 Nov. 1744.
  • 2. Hay to Lord Tweeddale, 20 May (o.s) 1745; Carlyle, Frederick the Great (1869 ed.), vi. 63-64.
  • 3. HMC Polwarth, v. 187.
  • 4. Add. 35894, ff. 28-39.