ROSE, Hugh II (1684-1755), of Kilravock, Nairn.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1708 - 28 Jan. 1710
1708 - 28 Jan. 1710
28 Jan. - 21 Sept. 1710
1734 - 1741

Family and Education

b. 1684, 1st s. of Hugh Rose I* by his 1st w.  educ. ?Aberdeen Univ. (Marischal Coll.) c.1701–5.  m. (1) contr. 23 May 1704 (with 18,000 merks), Elizabeth (d. 1714), da. of Ludovick Grant, MP [S], of Castle Grant, Elgin, and sis. of Alexander Grant*, 2s. 1da.; (2) c.1719, his cos. Jean, da. of Hugh or John Rose of Broadley, Banff, 2s. 6da.1

Offices Held

Capt. Alexander Grant’s* ft. 1708–13.2

Ld. lt. Cromarty 1725–?; sheriff, Ross 1732–4; provost, Nairn 1746.3


So great was his father’s ambition to bring him into Parliament, after providing ‘a liberal education at home and abroad’ and negotiating an advantageous match, that Rose not only stood in 1708 on the family interest in his ancestral shire of Nairn, but was put forward as the candidate of the Mackenzie faction in Ross-shire, where his father had recently been appointed sheriff. In Nairn there were no difficulties about his return, but by contrast the candidates for Ross were embroiled in bitter conflict, and each side resorted to desperate measures. Rose snr. not only countenanced wholesale creations of faggot voters, but even held back the election writ for fully two months in order to assist his friends. The candidate qualified himself a matter of days before the electoral court, with a charter of his infeftment obtained from the Scottish exchequer at a cost of over £220. Since he won by a single vote – his own – the expense was worthwhile. A petition was immediately forthcoming from the defeated candidate, the Master of Ross, whose family and allies carried their attacks further, seeking to impugn the conduct of the sheriff in his administrative duties. In so doing they represented themselves to government as a Presbyterian or Revolution interest defending the establishment in Church and state against the encroachments of the disloyal clan Mackenzie. But whatever the complexion of the factional rivalries in the county (and certainly there was a strong religious aspect to political conflicts there), the representatives of the two sides behaved somewhat differently at Westminster than they did at home. Rose, who before his election had been commissioned as a captain in the regiment of his brother-in-law Alexander Grant, may also have associated himself with Lord Seafield, whose political patronage extended to the representatives of several of the ‘northern counties’. Before the new House met, Seafield had described Rose as his ‘friend’ and as one of the Members ‘who, I hope, will serve her Majesty faithfully’. He remained in relative obscurity on the back benches. His return for Ross-shire was declared void in January 1710, but he continued to sit for Nairnshire alone during the rest of this Parliament. He was listed as voting for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell.4

Neither Rose nor his father stood in 1710: in Ross-shire Hugh snr. had changed sides, so that the seat was left for Hon. Charles Rosse*, while Nairnshire had to wait a turn before being able to elect again. When it did, three years later, Rose stood aside to give his brother-in-law John Forbes* the opportunity to enter the House. Although the elder Rose continued to put his interest in Ross-shire at the disposal of Charles Rosse, it is likely that the family would have had more in common with Forbes’s Whiggery, especially after the disbanding of Alexander Grant’s regiment in 1712–13 had cost Hugh jnr. his army pay. At any rate, their overriding political loyalty to the Hanoverian succession remained unaltered, and the house of Kilravock played a not insignificant role in northern resistance to the Fifteen. However, hopes that Rose would return to the colours under King George with a lieutenant-colonel’s commission proved unfounded. Having been defeated at Cromartyshire in the 1715 election because of the machinations of the Duke of Montrose, Rose moved with his father into the Argyll connexion, as represented locally by Forbes of Culloden. Until his father’s death he was no more closely involved in elections than as a supporter of the Culloden interest, but in 1734 he gave up the Ross-shire sheriffdom he had recently inherited in order to contest that county once more, and sat as a Court Member in the ensuing Parliament. Two further election defeats were necessary to extinguish his interest in public affairs. During the Forty-Five he gave a reminder of the suppleness his family had long exhibited in politics, entertaining Charles Edward Stuart and the Duke of Cumberland in rapid succession, evidently at no loss to his credibility. Rose died in May 1755, and the family did not provide another Member of Parliament until 1812.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Fam. of Rose of Kilravock (Spalding Club), 398–9, 401, 405; Shaw and Gordon, Hist. Province of Moray (1882), ii. 288–90; Recs. Marischal Coll. (New Spalding Club), ii. 281; W. Fraser, Chiefs of Grant, iii. 492.
  • 2. SP 57/31, p. 275.
  • 3. Shaw and Gordon, 288–90.
  • 4. Fam. of Rose, 405; SRO, Balnagown Castle mss GD129/box 29/106/14, Ross-shire electoral ct. mins. 26 June 1708; GD129/box 30/116, Ross-shire poll, 26 June 1708; Add. 9102, f. 68; SRO, Rose of Kilravock mss GD125/box 21, acct. of expenses for passing infeftment of lands of Craighouse, June 1708; Seafield Letters, 109.
  • 5. More Culloden Pprs. ed. Warrand, ii. 43, 54–55; Fam. of Rose, 380–2; P. W. J. Riley, Eng. Ministers and Scotland, 261.