DRUMMOND, James Andrew John Lawrence Charles (1767-1851), of Tullibardine and Strathallan, Perth.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



19 Mar. 1812 - Mar. 1824

Family and Education

b. 24 Mar. 1767, 2nd s. of Hon. William Drummond, 2nd surv. s. of William, 4th Visct. Strathallan [S], by Anne, da. of David Nairne, brig.-gen. in the French service. m. 18 Jan. 1809, Lady Amelia Sophia Murray, da. of John, 4th Duke of Atholl [S], 6s. 2da. suc. cos. Gen. Andrew John Drummond of Machany as head of fam. 1817; became 6th Visct. Strathallan [S] by Act of Parliament 17 June 1824, when the attainder of his uncle James Francis Edward, 5th Visct., was reversed.

Offices Held

Rep. peer [S] 1825-d.

Writer, E.I. Co. (Canton) 1786; asst. in public dept. 1792; manager of house of agency 1792-5; supercargo 1795; member, select cttee. 1800-1807, pres. 1802-7.1


Drummond’s grandfather William, 4th Viscount Strathallan, took part in the 'Fifteen rebellion, came out for the Pretender in the 'Forty-five and was killed at Culloden. His death was held to have nullified the Act of attainder on him, but it still applied to his eldest son James, nominally the 5th Viscount and uncle of this Member, who managed to escape to France, where he died in 1765. His son Andrew John, a soldier who attained the rank of general, was enfeoffed in 1782 in the family estates, which had been bought back from the crown in 1756 by Andrew Drummond, younger brother of the 4th Viscount and founder of the London banking house at Charing Cross.2

Drummond, who was only seven when his father died, probably obtained his writership in the East India Company through the influence of his banking kinsmen. He eventually became head of the British settlement at Canton and, from his share in the profits of the official house of agency, made an ‘ample’ fortune.3 The death of his elder brother William Henry in 1796 made him heir to his cousin the general, whose claim for the restoration of the Strathallan peerage had been rejected by the House of Lords in 1790.

Drummond came home in 1807 and three years later married the daughter of the 4th Duke of Atholl, who put him up for Perthshire on a vacancy early in 1812. There was an opposition in the name of Sir Thomas Graham of Balgowan, a former Member currently serving in the Peninsula, but Drummond, who enjoyed ministerial support, was returned by a majority of 18. He voted with ministers against the sinecure bill, 4 May 1812, but absented himself from the division on Stuart Wortley’s motion for the formation of a stronger administration, 21 May, an evasion which, according to one of his opponents in Perthshire, was described by the lord advocate as ‘not defensible’. Both he and Atholl were accused by Graham of indulging in ‘a kind of prudent cautious conduct during the negotiations’ following Perceval’s death, ‘that by no means marked them for decided friends of these ministers, but rather showed pretty clearly a determination of joining the other side, had the negotiations taken a different turn as was expected’.4 He nevertheless received the emphatic support of the Liverpool ministry, who listed him as a friend, at the general election of 1812, when he had a narrow victory over Graham. He retained the seat without opposition in 1818.

Drummond, who voted against Catholic relief, 2 Mar., 11 and 24 May 1813, divided with government on the civil list, 14 Apr. and 8 May, the Regent’s grant, 31 May 1815; the army estimates, 6 and 8 Mar. 1816; Admiralty economies, 17 and 25 Feb. 1817; the conduct of the Scottish law officers, 10 Feb. 1818, and Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819. In his only reported speech before 1820 he presented a Perthshire petition for retention of the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816, and he voted accordingly later the same day. He gave evidence on the China trade to the Commons committee on the East India Company’s affairs, 14 Apr. 1813. He almost certainly regarded his seat in Parliament principally as a means of strengthening his suit for restoration of the peerage, which he eventually obtained in 1824. He died 14 May 1851.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. H. B. Morse, Chrons. E.I. Co. China, ii. 191, 195, 197, 285, 321, 357; iii. 26.
  • 2. E. M, Graham, Oliphants of Gask, 193, 227, 318.
  • 3. Morse, ii. 197; SRO GD51/1/198/21/43.
  • 4. NLS, Lynedoch mss, box 37A(1), Graeme to Graham, 10 June; Blair Adam mss, Graham to Adam, 1 Oct. [1812].