MOORE, John (1761-1809).

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



Family and Education

b. 13 Nov. 1761, 1st surv. s. of John Moore, M.D., physician and author, by Jean, da. of Rev. John Simson, prof. of Divinity, Glasgow Univ.  educ. Glasgow h.s.; Grand Tour 1772-6. unmcr. K.B. 26 Sept. 1804.

Offices Held

Ensign 51 Ft. 1776; capt.-lt. 82 Ft. Jan. 1778, capt. 1780; half-pay 1783; maj. 102 Ft. Nov. 1785 (disbanded same year); half-pay 1785-8; maj. 60 Ft. Jan. 1788; maj. 51 Ft. Oct. 1788; lt.-col. 1790; col. 1795; maj.-gen. 1798; col. commdt. 52 Ft. 1799; col. 52 Ft. 1801- d.; lt.-gen. 1805.


At the age of ten Moore accompanied his father, tutor and physician to Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton on the grand tour. Through the influence of the Duke of Argyll he obtained a commission in the army, and during the American war served in Canada and the United States.1 In 1784 Hamilton, by agreement with Buccleuch and Queensberry,2 offered to bring him into Parliament for Linlithgow Burghs, as a Government supporter. Moore, however, whose father’s friends included Burke, Lord Maitland, the Duchess of Devonshire, and other prominent Whigs, stipulated for freedom ‘to follow his own judgment on every measure’. To this Hamilton agreed; but nevertheless in the new Parliament Moore was listed by William Adam as ‘Administration’. Moore’s views were thus described by his brother James:

Being convinced that Mr. Pitt was animated with the love of his country and that his measures were directed towards its welfare, he generally voted for them; and his political conduct was such that Mr. Burke, though then of the opposite party, commended him highly to his father with whom he was intimate ... The moderation of Moore’s character prevented his becoming a violent party man. He was acquainted with persons of opposite political opinions, and being in the heyday of youth lived gaily and in good company.3

Moore voted for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785, did not oppose Pitt’s Irish propositions, 13 May 1785, and voted with Administration on Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786. But his ruling ambition was to return to the army active list. Having failed in the attempt in 1785, when the 102 Foot was disbanded, he obtained a majority in 1788 in a new battalion of the 60 Foot. He transferred in October 1788 to his old regiment, the 51st, stationed in Ireland, but remained in London to vote with Government on the Regency question. Thereafter he joined his regiment and did not seek re-election in 1790. No speech in the House is recorded.

His subsequent military career brought him lasting fame. He died of wounds at Corunna, 16 Jan. 1809.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. Jas. Moore, Life of Sir John Moore; Carola Oman, Sir John Moore.
  • 2. Laprade, 104.
  • 3. Jas. Moore, 34, 35-6.