ROSS, Hon. Charles (1721-45), of Balnagowan, Ross.

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



1741 - 30 Apr. 1745

Family and Education

b. 9 Feb. 1721, 2nd s. of George, 13th Lord Ross of Halkhead [S], by Lady Elizabeth Kerr, da. of William, 2nd Mq. of Lothian [S]. unm. suc. gt.-uncle Gen. Charles Ross to Balnagowan 1732.

Offices Held

2nd lt. Col. Douglas’s regt.of Marines Dec. 1739; lt. and capt. 3 Ft. Gds. 1741.


While still under age Ross, ‘a very handsome young man,’1 was returned for Ross-shire, where he had inherited his great-uncle’s estate. In the division of 16 Dec. 1741 on the chairman of the elections committee, Horace Walpole writes:

Young Ross, son of a commissioner of customs, and saved from the dishonour of not liking to go to the West Indies, when it was his turn, by Sir Robert’s giving him a lieutenancy, voted against us.2

A month later, shortly before Walpole’s resignation, the 1st Lord Egmont heard

that Lord Ross had been sent for up from Scotland to influence his son, Mr. Charles Ross, but Mr. Ross had a very good estate independent of his father.3

In October 1742 he was included in the Cockpit list of ministerial supporters; but in the division of 10 Dec. 1742 on the Hanoverians he is shown among the opposition absentees, and on 6 Dec. 1743 he was one of the army officers who supported an opposition motion for disbanding the Hanoverians, telling

a story of a drunken quarrel between an English groom and a Hanoverian soldier on their march into winter quarters, after which the latter had been acquitted by his commanding officer before the party aggrieved had an opportunity of being heard, and producing his evidence.

Denying an imputation that his speech reflected on the King, he said that ‘the instance he gave happened after that great person left the army’. The instance, according to the 1st Lord Egmont, ‘appeared to the House very frivolous’.4 He again voted against the Hanoverians in 1744. His death in action at Fontenoy, 30 Apr. 1745, is commemorated in Collins’s ‘Ode to a Lady’, Miss Elizabeth Goddard, Ross’s fiancée.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Edw. Digby to John Ward, 16 Apr. 1743, Rylands, Crawford mss.
  • 2. To Mann, 16 Dec. 1741.
  • 3. HMC Egmont Diary, iii. 243, 278.
  • 4. Yorke’s parl. jnl. Parl. Hist. xiii. 140; HMC Egmont Diary, ii. 278.