HAY, Sir John, 6th bt. (1788-1838).

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



9 Aug. 1831 - 1837

Family and Education

b. 3 Aug. 1788, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir John Hay, 5th bt., banker, of Edinburgh and Hon. Mary Elizabeth Forbes, da. of James, 16th Lord Forbes [S]; bro. of Adam Hay*. educ. adv. 1811. m. 6 Oct. 1821, Anne, da. of Capt. George Preston, s.p. suc. fa. as 6th bt. 23 May 1830. d. 1 Nov. 1838.

Offices Held


Hay’s grandfather James Hay, the son of John Hay of Haystoun, near Peebles and his first wife Grisel Thompson, was a physician in Edinburgh. His younger brother Adam Hay served in the army, 1747-68, and was Member for Peeblesshire, 1767-8 and 1775, when he died deep in debt. Dr. James Hay, who had succeeded his father in 1762, bought Adam’s estate of Soonhope and acquired other Peeblesshire property. In 1804 he claimed the baronetcy of Hay of Smithfield, dormant since the death of his grandfather’s degenerate third cousin, Sir James Hay, 3rd baronet, in about 1683; and on 9 Nov. 1805 he established before a jury in Peebles that he was entitled to assume it.1 His son John Hay, born in 1755, was in 1774 apprenticed in the Edinburgh banking house of Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, his sister Elizabeth’s husband. He became a partner in the firm of Forbes, Hunter and Company in 1782, married into the Scottish aristocracy in 1785, built a house at Kingsmeadows, Peebles and accumulated much property in the burgh. He succeeded to the assumed baronetcy in 1810 and was one of the ‘quiet country gentlemen set’ of Edinburgh society.2

His eldest surviving son John Hay was bred to the Scottish bar, but achieved no distinction there. He was in Greece in April 1819 and so out of contention for an opening for Linlithgow Burghs. He succeeded to the baronetcy and entailed estates in May 1830.3 On a vacancy for Peeblesshire in the summer of 1831 he offered, without disclosing his views on parliamentary reform, and came in unopposed.4 He voted with the Tory opposition to censure the Irish administration’s interference in the Dublin election, 23 Aug. 1831. He divided against the third reading, 19 Sept., a