FERGUSON, James (1735-1820), of Pitfour, Aberdeen.

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



22 Jan. 1789 - 1790
1790 - 6 Sept. 1820

Family and Education

b. 25 May 1735, 1st s. of James Ferguson of Pitfour, S.C.J. (Lord Pitfour), by Hon. Anne Murray, da. of Alexander, 4th Lord Elibank [S]. educ. Edinburgh Univ.; adv. 1757; Grand Tour 1758. unm. suc. fa. 25 June 1777.

Offices Held


Ferguson’s father, a distinguished lawyer, purchased in 1764 part of Earl Marischal’s estates and thus acquired a major interest in Banffshire and Aberdeenshire. His son, a boon companion of Henry Dundas, was mentioned in Robinson’s survey of 1780 as candidate for either Elginshire or Aberdeenshire, should Alexander Garden withdraw. On Garden’s death in 1785 Ferguson unsuccessfully contested Aberdeenshire, with the support of Dundas and the Duke of Gordon, against Lord Fife’s candidate, George Skene. Negotiations followed for an electoral compromise between Gordon and Fife, in consequence of which Ferguson was returned on Fife’s interest at a by-election for Banffshire in January 1789.

William Adam in 1788 described Ferguson as an able man, ‘of real good sense, but indolent’, who wished for a judge’s gown rather than a political career.1

Ferguson died 6 Sept. 1820.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. Pol. State of Scotland, 9, 54.