MUNRO, Sir Harry, 7th Bt. (c.1720-81), of Foulis, Ross.
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Family and Education
b. c.1720, o. surv. s. of Col. Sir Robert Munro, 6th Bt., M.P., by Mary, da. of Henry Seymour. M.P., of Woodlands, Dorset. educ. Westminster 1734-6; Leyden 1736; Doddridge’s acad. at Northampton 1737-?9. m. 13 Jan. 1753, Anne, da. of Hugh Rose, M.P., of Kilravock, Nairn., 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 17 Jan. 1746.
Capt. Loudoun’s Regt. 1745; half pay 1748.
Chamberlain of Ross 1747- d.
Munro and all his family were staunch Presbyterians and Hanoverians, at bitter feud with the Jacobite Mackenzies. Munro served with Cope during the ’45 and was captured at Prestonpans; his father was killed at Falkirk, 17 Jan. 1746.1 Returned for Ross-shire in December 1746, his loyalty was rewarded by the place of chamberlain of the Crown lands in Ross. At the general election of 1747 he transferred to Tain Burghs.
In 1754 Munro was re-elected, apparently unopposed, for Tain Burghs. In Ross-shire he took a leading part in supporting Argyll’s candidate, James Stuart Mackenzie, against Lord Fortrose, Pelham’s nominee. Nevertheless he does not appear to have been involved in the dispute of 1754-5 between Newcastle and Argyll, after whose reconciliation he received on 28 Nov. 1755 a pension of £500 per annum in the form of additional salary as chamberlain of Ross.2 Thereafter Munro placed his ‘entire dependence’ on Newcastle, to whom he applied, without success, in July 1756 for a place in the Prince of Wales’s household.3 He voted, 2 May 1757, with Newcastle and Fox on the Minorca inquiry; and during the 1757 negotiations was counted by Newcastle among the Scots personally attached to himself, who would support an administration which might not include Argyll.
Shortly after the formation of the Pitt-Newcastle Coalition Munro was alarmed by the appearance of two candidates against him—Sir John Gordon and Mansfield’s nephew, Colonel John Scott. On 13 Sept. 1757 he wrote to Lord Dupplin, appealing for Newcastle’s support: ‘I told [Colonel Scott] ... that I would make no stir, as doing so at this time, so many years to run of this Parliament, was ... not dutiful to his Majesty ... [and] that I would be determined by the King’s servants’. But Scott wrote to Newcastle, 10 July 1758:
I know that all Sir Harry’s friends and relations are more desirous he should be out, than in Parliament, provided he can keep his office or pension, but at any rate it is impossible to save his seat ... He is so much convinced of this that he is willing to quit his pretensions and join his interest to mine, if Lord Mansfield will promise in future to protect him from losing his pension.
Mansfield referred the issue to Newcastle, who made no immediate decision, and Munro remained a candidate with ‘no prospect of success’.4 Disappointed in his hopes of obtaining permission to raise a Highland regiment,5 he took little part in the agitation for a Scottish militia, was not a member of the committee to prepare the bill, but did not vote against it. By the autumn of 1760 an accommodation had been reached with Scott, to whom Munro gave his interest, and retained his place, with the additional salary, until his death. In 1780 he declared himself a candidate for Ross-shire against Lord Macleod,6 representative of his old enemies the Mackenzies, but subsequently withdrew.
He died 12 June 1781.