GORDON, John (1750-1840), of Kenmure, Kirkcudbright Stewartry.

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



6 Apr. 1781 - 6 Feb. 1782

Family and Education

b. 1750, 2nd s. of John Gordon of Kenmure (s. of William, 6th Visct. Kenmure [S], attainted 1716), by Lady Frances Mackenzie, da. of William, 5th Earl of Seaforth [S] (attainted 1716), and sis. of Kenneth Mackenzie. m. 1791, Sarah Ann Morgan, s.p. suc. bro. 1772; 17 June 1824, on reversal of attainder, resumed title as 7th Visct. Kenmure.

Offices Held

Ensign 17 Ft. 1770, lt. 1772; capt. lt. 54 Ft. 1775; capt. 14 Lt. Drag. 1775; ret. 1779.


Gordon’s family connexions and estates gave him considerable interest in Kirkcudbright Stewartry, where he stood in 1780 as a Government candidate backed by the Duke of Queensberry. The Catholic relief bill of 1778 was a vital issue at the election (Gordon’s mother was a Catholic); and Gordon was defeated. The election, however, was declared void, and at the new election Gordon was successful against Peter Johnston. But Johnston brought a petition, claiming that Gordon had concluded a corrupt bargain with Alexander Stewart, and on 6 Feb. 1782 Gordon was unseated. His only recorded vote in Parliament was with Administration on 12 Dec. 1782 on Lowther’s motion against the American war.

His determined efforts to enter the House may have been inspired in part by a desire to acquire parliamentary immunity from his creditors, for his financial position was desperate. In May 1781 he executed a trust deed empowering the trustees to sell part or all of his lands to meet his debts. A considerable part of his other properties was, however, saved, including Kenmure castle.

He died 21 Sept. 1840.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest