SPALDING, John (1763-1815), of The Holme and Shirmers, Kirkcudbright.

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



1796 - 28 June 1803

Family and Education

b. 1763, 4th s. of Alexander Spalding (d.1776), merchant in Dumfries, of The Holme by Jean, da. and h. of Robert Gordon of Shirmers. m. 19 Dec. 1807, Mary Ann, da. of Thomas Eden of Wimbledon, Surr., dep. auditor of Greenwich Hosp., 1s.

Offices Held

Writer, E. I. Co. (Madras) 1781; asst. sec. to select cttee. 1783; asst. to auditor of accts. 1783, to revenue dept. 1785; jun. merchant and agent for clothing the revenue batt. 1787; home 1789.

Dir. British Fire Office 1805, Westminster Life Insurance 1814.


Spalding’s father invested his mercantile wealth in property in Kirkcudbright, which he increased by marriage to an heiress. Spalding, who received his commercial education from Thomas Sword of Pancras Lane, London, went out to Madras as a writer in 1781 and returned to Scotland eight years later, probably because of ill health.1 He invested in East India Company stock. He was returned to Parliament in 1796 by the 7th Earl of Galloway, patron of the Wigtown burghs. In 1802 there was a contest. He survived a petition against his return and was duly seated on 7 Mar. 1803, but in June he vacated his seat, by previous arrangement, to let in his patron’s son.

Spalding, a silent Member, appears in no surviving minority list. On 4 Jan. 1798 he voted for Pitt’s assessed taxes bill and seems to have supported both Pitt and Addington, though by 1802 his patron was ‘decidedly hostile to Mr Dundas’. On 11 Feb. 1803 he was teller for the discharge of the Kirkcudbright petition. He died at Hill Street, Berkeley Square, 26 Aug. 1815, aged 52.2 His wife, Lord Auckland’s niece, remarried, in 1819, Henry Peter Brougham*.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. W. Anderson


  • 1. India Office Lib. J/1/10, f. 142; P. H. McKerlie, Lands and their Owners in Galloway, iii. 79, 439; Prinsep, Madras Civilians, 133.
  • 2. Add. 33049, ff. 350, 354; CJ, lviii. 149; Gent. Mag. (1815), ii. 281.