ALEXANDER, William (c.1690-1761), of Edinburgh.

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



1754 - 1761

Family and Education

b. c.1690, 2nd s. of John Alexander, Glasgow merchant, by Janet, da. of Alexander Cuninghame of Craigends, Renfrew. m. bef. 1721, Marianne Louisa de la Croix, of a Huguenot fam., 3s. 1da.

Offices Held

Director, Royal Bank of Scotland 1730-60, burgess of Edinburgh 1733; trustee for fisheries and manufactures 1738; ld. prov. Edinburgh 1752-4; commr. for forfeited estates 1755-60.


William Alexander was an Edinburgh merchant and banker engaged in the continental trade, especially in the re-export of American tobacco to France.  In 1754, after considerable experience in local politics, he came forward as candidate for Edinburgh with the support of the Argyll-Milton influence, and was unanimously elected.

He did not attend the short first session of the new Parliament, but in the following session ‘gave close attendance ... from the first to last day’.1 He was a supporter of Newcastle. George Drummond, a leading Edinburgh politician, in a letter to Newcastle of 28 Oct. 17552 referred to Alexander’s ‘honest determination to support his Majesty’s Administration’. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.

In failing health, he did not stand at the general election of 1761; and died 25 July 1761.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. Alexander to Newcastle, 27 May 1755, Add. 32855, f. 233.
  • 2. Add. 32860, f. 218.