Stirling Burghs

Single Member Scottish burgh

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Queensferry (1754, ’84), Linlithgow; Stirling (1761); Inverkeithing (1768), Dunfermline (1774), Fife; Culross (1780), Perth

Elections

DateCandidateVotes
9 May 1754George Haldane 
3 Mar. 1758Robert Haldane vice George Haldane, appointed to office 
20 Apr. 1761Francis Holburne2
 Alexander Wedderburn2
11 Apr. 1768James Masterton 
9 June 1769Masterton re-elected after appointment to office 
1 Nov. 1774Archibald Campbell3
 Sir Alexander Gilmour2
3 Oct. 1780James Campbell 
26 Apr. 1784James Campbell 
21 Aug. 1789Sir Archibald Campbell vice James Campbell, vacated his seat 

Main Article

This constituency was one of the most venal in Scotland, and no one family secured a lasting interest. The sitting Member at the dissolution in 1754, George Haldane, was in bitter conflict with the Duke of Argyll; and Argyll sponsored the candidature of Robert Cuninghame against him. Soon after Henry Pelham’s death Cuninghame withdrew in favour of Colonel Arthur Forbes, and in a list drawn up for Newcastle on 5 Apr. it was still considered doubtful which would carry it. But Haldane spent heavily and forced Forbes also to withdraw.1 On Haldane’s appointment to office in 1758 he was succeeded by his uncle Robert Haldane, according to a subsequent account ‘owing to a mere chance, as nobody was prepared to offer their service in opposition to him’.2

At the general election of 1761 there were three candidates: Robert Haldane, the sitting Member; Admiral Francis Holburne, supported by the Duke of Argyll; and Sir Peter Halkett. In the notes on Scottish elections prepared for Newcastle in April 1760 there is the following about Stirling Burghs:3 ‘Each of the three [candidates] has a burgh. A fourth (Inverkeithing) is venal. Mr. Campbell, Member for the count