NISBET, William (1747-1822), of Dirleton and Belhaven, Haddington.

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



1790 - 1796
11 Nov. 1796 - Apr. 1800

Family and Education

b. 1747, 1st s. of William Nisbet of Dirleton by Mary, da. and h. of Alexander Hamilton of Pencaitland, Haddington and Dechmont Linlithgow, and h. of entail of James, 5th Lord Belhaven [S] (d. 1777) in the estates of Biel and Presmennan; bro. of John Hamilton of Pencaitland.1  educ. Eton 1756-65.  m. Jan. 1777, Mary, da. of Lord Robert Manners and h. of Bloxholm and Alford, Lincs., 1da.  suc. fa. 1783; mother 1797, and took name of Hamilton before Nisbet.

Offices Held

Cornet 3 Drag. 1767; sub-lt. and adjt. 1 Troop Horse Grenadier Gds. 1769; ret. 1774.


By marriage and inheritance Nisbet became one of the wealthiest lairds in Scotland. In 1774 he stood for Haddingtonshire against Captain James Stewart, brother of Lord Blantyre, and Sir George Suttie. Stewart having retired in his favour, Nisbet reached a compromise with Suttie whereby they agreed to share that Parliament between them. Suttie was returned but vacated his seat in 1777, when Nisbet was elected unopposed.

In Parliament he uniformly voted in support of the North Administration, and appears never to have spoken during his first Parliament. In 1780 he was opposed by Hew Dalrymple Yr., and although Nisbet was hopeful of success he was not returned.

He died 17 July 1822.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. R. C. Nesbitt, Nisbet of that Ilk, 25.