Single Member Scottish County

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Number of voters:

about 60 in 1774, 76 in 1788


17 May 1754James Campbell 
 Robert Haldane 
14 Apr. 1761James Campbell 
29 Dec. 1763Campbell re-elected after appointment to office 
8 Apr. 1768Thomas Dundas 
26. Oct. 1774Thomas Dundas44
 Sir James Campbell19
16 Sept. 1780Thomas Dundas 
9 Apr. 1784Sir Thomas Dundas 

Main Article

James Campbell of Ardkinglass owed his seat for Stirlingshire mainly to the influence of the Duke of Argyll. At the general election of 1754 two newcomers to Stirlingshire politics, Lawrence Dundas and Robert Haldane, joined forces to oppose Campbell: the numbers on the poll were even, and Campbell was elected by the casting vote of the praeses.1 From now on the Campbell interest began to decline. In the notes on Scottish elections prepared for Newcastle in April 1760 it is stated that Campbell felt sure of being elected again, ‘but there are some turbulent spirits in that county and Mr. Campbell would find difficulty if the Duke of Argyll opposed him’.2 Campbell was returned, but only apparently because this time Dundas supported him. Similarly, he owed his re-election in 1763 to Dundas’s forbearance;3 but in 1768 Dundas secured his son’s election for the county. In 1774 Campbell tried to regain his seat: John Robinson believed the election ‘would run very near’,4 but Campbell was well beaten. From about 1777 the Graham interest began to revive under the energetic lead of the young Marquess of Graham, and in 1780 Dundas, to secure Stirlingshire for his son, agreed to bring in Graham for Richmond. In 1784, though Sir Thomas Dundas and Lord Graham were on opposite sides at Westminster, they collaborated in Stirlingshire, and Dundas was again returned unopposed.

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Argyll to Pelham, 5 Nov. 1753, Newcastle (Clumber) mss; CJ, 28 Nov. 1754.
  • 2. Add. 33049, f. 307.
  • 3. See CAMPBELL, James.
  • 4. Laprade, 19.