GORDON, George, Mq. of Huntly (1770-1836).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1806 - Apr. 1807

Family and Education

b. 2 Feb. 1770, 1st s. of Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon [S], by 1st w. Jane, da. of Sir William Maxwell, 3rd Bt., of Montreith, Wigtown. educ. Eton 1780; St. John’s Camb. 1786. m. 11 Dec. 1813, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Alexander Brodie, E.I. merchant, of Arnhall, Kincardine, s.p.; 1s. illegit.1 Summ. to Lords in his fa.’s barony as Lord Gordon of Huntly 11 Apr. 1807, GCB 20 May 1820; suc. fa. as 5th Duke of Gordon [S] 11 June 1827.

Offices Held

Keeper of great seal [S] 1828-30; PC 7 Apr. 1830.

d. lt. Aberdeen 1808- d.; chancellor, Marischal Coll. Aberdeen 1814-d.; gov. Edinburgh Castle 1827-d.

Ensign and lt. 35 Ft. 1790, 42 Ft. 1791; capt. and lt. 3 Ft. 1792; lt.-col. commdt. 100 Ft. 1794, brevet col. 1796; col. 92 Ft. 1796-1806; brig.-gen. [I] 1798; maj.-gen. 1801; col. 42 Ft. 1806-20, lt.-gen. 1808, gen. 1819; col. 1 Ft. 1820-34, Scots Fus. 1834-d.


Huntly’s mother lionized Pitt, and he, ‘gay, handsome, fond of his mother, and often with her’, was consequently on familiar terms with the statesman;2 but he was inconspicuous in both Houses of Parliament. His military career took him to Holland (1793), Corsica (1795), Ireland (1798) and to Walcheren, on which he gave important evidence to the select committee of the House, 20 Feb. 1810. He sat in the Commons for months only, as his brother-in-law the 2nd Marquess Cornwallis’s nominee. He is not known to have spoken there as a Member. At first listed ‘adverse’ to the abolition of the slave trade, he was transferred to ‘doubtful’. Canning, then in opposition, wrote of him ‘votes with us’, six days after he had voted against the Grenville ministry on the Hampshire election petition, 13 Feb. 1807. Their successors wafted him to the Lords, where he did not draw attention to himself until he moved the address in 1816. In March 1810 he had described himself to Canning as ‘yours’, but he would not desert ministers at the Duke of Cumberland’s request on the Regency in January 1811.3 As president of the Edinburgh Pitt Club, he left no doubt about his politics. After forswearing marriage, he obtained the hand of a pious heiress who paid his debts. He died 28 May 1836, ‘unrivalled as a chairman at a public dinner’.4 The dukedom became extinct.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: Winifred Stokes


  • 1. Glenbervie Diaries, ii. 63.
  • 2. Mems. of a Highland Lady ed. Lady Strachey, 45; PRO 30/8/147, ff. 95, 96.
  • 3. Harewood mss, Canning to his wife, 19 Feb. 1807, 6 Mar. 1810; Phipps, Plumer Ward Mems. i. 305.
  • 4. Mems. of a Highland Lady, 252-3, 381; Gent. Mag. (1836), ii. 93.