WAUCHOPE, Henry (c.1720-68), of Kildavannan, Bute.

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



3 June 1762 - 1768

Family and Education

b. c.1720, 1st s. of Francis Wauchope, advocate, of Caikmuir, Edinburghshire by Vere, da. of Henry Bothwell of Glencorse. unm.  suc. fa. 1760.

Offices Held

Barrackmaster of Plymouth 1758- d.;1 dep. keeper of privy purse 1761.


As a young man Wauchope went out to Virginia, where he was employed as factor for the Glasgow firm of John Rowand, James Denniston and Robert Berry. He returned to Scotland before 1754.2 His appointment as barrackmaster he probably owed to Bute, between whose family and the Bothwells there were ties of friendship and kinship. Wauchope was in fact one of Bute’s poor relations for whom he felt obliged to provide: he was employed as Bute’s confidential secretary and deputy as privy purse. In February 1762 he was returned by Bute for Buteshire, on a qualification provided by William Mure of Caldwell.3

Wauchope remained Bute’s confidential secretary and his servility to Bute became almost a by-word.4 On Bute’s resignation in April 1763 Wauchope was rewarded with a pension of £625 for life on the Irish establishment, and was henceforth employed as secretary to Bute’s brother, James Stuart Mackenzie.5 In November 1763 Wauchope’s name occurs in a curious connexion. Lord Sandwich wrote to Grenville, 5 Nov. 1763:6

You know that we have had Wilkes regularly watched ever since his return from France; I send you a note of his conduct upon the 2nd of November where you will observe one very extraordinary visitor who stayed with him half an hour.

The spy’s report was enclosed:

At one o’clock Mr. Walkub [sic] came and stayed half an hour; he is a Member of Parliament, and lives in Argyll Buildings.

Sandwich and Grenville, in their anti-Bute obsession, were capable of suspecting him of dealings with Wilkes; but no one could suspect Wauchope of disloyalty to Bute. The incident remains a mystery—perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity.

In Parliament Wauchope was an obscure figure. There is no record of his having spoken in the House, and he was seldom nominated to committees. He followed Bute’s lead, and supported every Administration except that of Rockingham. Buteshire was not represented in the Parliament of 1768, and Wauchope did not stand elsewhere.

He died 22 Sept. 1768.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. T52/49/138; 52/61/513.
  • 2. Scottish Admiralty Decreets, vol. 46, pp. 185 et seq.
  • 3. Caldwell Pprs. ii (1), pp. 146, 155.
  • 4. Boswell on the Grand Tour 1765-6, ed. Brady and Pottle, 120.
  • 5. Cal. Home Office Pprs. 1760-5, p. 375.
  • 6. Grenville Pprs. ii. 155.