BUCHANAN, John (1761-1839), of Ardoch and Balloch Castle, Dunbarton.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Constituency

Dates

19 Feb. 1821 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 8 Jan. 1761, 1st s. of Thomas Buchanan, merchant, of Glasgow and Ardoch and 1st w. Margaret, da. of Moses Buchanan. educ. Glasgow Univ. 1773. m. 1 Nov. 1785, Elizabeth, da. of John Parkes, manufacturer, of Warwick and Netherton, Worcs., 1s. 3da. (1 d.v.p.) suc. fa. 1789. d. 26 June 1839.

Offices Held

Bailie, Glasgow 1793, treas. 1799.

Biography

Buchanan’s father, the only son of an eminent Glasgow lawyer, was in business in the city as a hat maker, and was described the year before his death as ‘a very independent man’ who had recently bought a vote for Dunbartonshire. Of his half-brothers from his father’s second and third marriages, James (1766-1855) was founder of the family of Gray Buchanan of Eastfield, and William (1777-1864) achieved some success in London as an art critic and picture dealer.1 After studying at Glasgow University Buchanan joined his father in the family business and evidently spent some time in England. At the time of his marriage to the daughter of a Warwick worsted manufacturer in 1785 he was said to be ‘of Stockport’, but his connection with that town has not been traced. In 1792 he was served heir to his father in the Ardoch property, which had been in the family since 1693, and he subsequently purchased the estate of Balloch and built a mansion there. He initially carried on the Glasgow business after his father’s death, in partnership with his half-brother James (who married his wife’s sister in 1798), but the extent and duration of his active involvement is not clear. The firm, now established in premises in St. Andrew’s Square, was listed in Glasgow directories as early as 1809 as James Buchanan and Company, and continued to be so described until the early 1830s, when it disappeared.2 Buchanan canvassed Dunbartonshire on a vacancy late in 1820. Lord Melville, the Liverpool ministry’s Scottish manager, would have preferred another man, as part of a scheme to safeguard the government’s interest in Stirlingshire, where a by-election was also imminent. However, Buchanan proved too strong to be deflected, and despite being challenged by a former Member he carried the election by six votes.