Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Number of voters:

31 in 1722


25 Feb. 1715CHARLES ROSS
 Charles Ross
13 Sept. 1727CHARLES ROSS
15 Feb. 1733JOHN MUNRO vice Ross, deceased
30 May 1734HUGH ROSE
 Hugh Rose
11 Dec. 1746SIR HARRY MUNRO vice Ross, deceased
 Hugh Rose
27 July 1747KENNETH MACKENZIE, Lord Fortrose

Main Article

At George I’s accession the chief interests in Ross-shire, where the sheriff was appointed by the Government during pleasure, were those of William, 12th Lord Ross, and his brother, General Charles Ross, the sitting Tory Member, who was re-elected unopposed. In 1722 Ross, according to his election petition, obtained 18 votes out of a poll of 31 electors, but the seat was awarded by the sheriff, Sir William Gordon, to Alexander Urquhart, a government man. An attempt to secure an early hearing of Ross’s petition was defeated by Walpole, with the result that it was shelved.1

In 1727 Ross, having gone over to the Government, regained the seat without opposition. On his death in 1732 two rival Whig candidates took the field, John Munro, supported by his uncle, Duncan Forbes, the lord advocate, and George Munro, put up by his brother, Sir Robert Munro, with the support of Lord Ilay, Walpole’s electoral manager for Scotland. The issue turned on the votes of the Mackenzies, controlled by the attainted Earl of Seaforth, then in Paris. Both Sir Robert and John Munro applied to Seaforth for his interest, the latter successfully, by going in person to Paris, where he arrived before Sir Robert’s letter.2

In 1734 Munro was replaced by Forbes’s brother-in-law, Hugh Rose, who had succeeded his father as sheriff of the county, resigning the post to stand. He lost his seat in 1741 to Lord Ross’s son, a minor, on whose death at Fontenoy it went to Sir Robert Munro’s son. In 1747 Lord Seaforth’s eldest son was returned with the support of the Government.3

Author: J. M. Simpson


  • 1. CJ, xx. 37-38; Knatchbull Diary, 24 Oct. 1722.
  • 2. More Culloden Pprs. iii. 61-64.
  • 3. ‘Present and proposed Members for Scotland’, Newcastle (Clumber) mss.