MACLEAN CLEPHANE, William Douglas (1759-1803), of Kirkness, Kinross.

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



1802 - July 1803

Family and Education

b. 20 Apr. 1759, 1st s. of George Clephane of Carslogie, Fife by 2nd w. Anne Jean, da. and h. of Rev. Robert Douglas, minister of Portmoak, Kinross; bro. of David Clephane*. m. 14 Sept. 1790, Marianne, da. and h. of Lauchlan MacLean, seventh of Torloisk, Isle of Mull, Argyll, 3da. Took additional name of MacLean 6 Nov. 1790; suc. fa. 1790.

Offices Held

Ensign, 3 Ft. 1777, lt. and capt. 1780, capt. and lt.-col. 1792, col. 1796, maj.-gen. 1801.

Lt.-gov. Grenada 1803.


In 1788 Clephane was a liferenter in Kinross-shire in the right of his mother’s inheritance. On the death of the former Member George Graham in December 1801, he was on active service at Port Mahon, but his family put him forward by prearrangement as champion of the ‘independent interest of the county’ under the aegis of William Adam*. Although an opposition was at first threatened by Graham’s heir, Clephane, who arrived home in time for the election, was chosen unanimously. He was listed a supporter of Addington’s ministry and independent of Henry Dundas. Some of his friends had wished for him to be George Graham’s successor as lord lieutenant, but he was prepared to cede it to William Adam.1