LOCKHART, Thomas (1739-75), of Craighouse, Edinburgh.
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Family and Education
b. 1739, 1st s. of Alexander Lockhart, dean of the faculty of advocates, 1775 Lord Covington, S.C.J., by Margaret, da. of Robert Pringle (Lord Edgefield, S.C.J.). educ. Edinburgh Univ.; St. Andrew’s 1752-5; Emmanuel, Camb. 1755; I. Temple 1758; Leyden 1759. m. Mary, da. of Rev. William Danby, D.D., of Swinton, Yorks.
Lockhart, a barrister at the English bar, was returned for Elgin Burghs in 1771 with the support of Administration. In Parliament he was an infrequent speaker. His pedantic speech of 9 Mar. 1772 in support of the royal marriage bill bored his fellow Members, who by ‘great coughing’ so disconcerted him that he sat down with an apology ‘for having presumed to take up half an hour’; as a result his second intervention in the debate, on 16 Mar., was diffident and brief.1 His only other reported speeches were on the legal presumption of death of the Member for Reading and on the plate glass manufacture;2 but he took the lead in introducing bills ‘for the more effectual prevention of the concealment of the death of bastard children’ (1772) and for ‘the more effectual execution of the criminal laws’, and piloted both measures through the House.
He seems to have been a regular Government supporter. In 1774 John Robinson in his electoral survey wrote of Elgin Burghs:3 ‘It is uncertain who will come in next time. Some say young Burnet [representing the Keith interest] will stand, others that Mr. Lockhart is to come in again.’ But the actual contest was between Staats Long Morris and Lockhart, who, ‘very much indisposed and confined to his house in London’, was not present at the election and was defeated.
Shortly afterwards he went to Lisbon for his health, and the petition on his behalf, prepared by his friends, arrived at the House one day after the official expiry date for presentation. After debate the House declined to waive the regulations and receive the petition, which accordingly lapsed.
Lockhart died 22 July 1775.