CUNYNGHAME, Sir James, 2nd Bt. (c.1685-1747), of Milncraig, Ayr, and Livingstone, Linlithgow.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1685, 1st s. of Sir David Cunynghame, 1st Bt. M.P. [S], of Milncraig and Livingstone by his 1st w. Isabella, da. of James Dalrymple, M.P. [S], 1st Visct. of Stair [S]. unm. suc. fa. 28 Jan. 1708.

Offices Held


Cunynghame’s family claimed descent from the earls of Glencairn through the cadet branch of Cuninghame of Craigends. Returned unopposed as a Whig in 1715, he voted for the septennial bill next year; but on 4 June 1717 he voted against the Government on Lord Cadogan, three days later attending a dinner given by Cadogan’s rival, the Duke of Argyll, then in opposition.1 No further votes of his have been recorded. In a list of payments made by Lord Sunderland in 1720-1 Argyll, now back in office, is shown as having received £400 ‘pour le frère de Sir James Cunningham’.2 At the 1722 election he was defeated by George Dundas, nominated by Lord Hopetoun,3 then attached to Argyll’s rival in Scotland, the Duke of Roxburghe.4 His petition, which was presented to the House on four occasions, was rejected in 1726. His only other attempt to re-enter Parliament was made in 1734, when, though backed by Dundas, he was again unsuccessful against Lord Hopetoun’s candidate Alexander Hamilton, a government supporter. He died 1 Feb. 1747.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: J. M. Simpson


  • 1. More Culloden Pprs. ii. 175.
  • 2. Sunderland (Blenheim) mss D.II, 4.
  • 4. HMC Polwarth, iii. 285.