MILLER, William (1755-1846), of Glenlee, Kirkcudbright Stewartry and Barskimming, Ayr.

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



1780 - 23 Mar. 1781

Family and Education

b. 12 Aug. 1755, o.s. of Thomas Miller.  educ. Edinburgh h.s. and Univ.; adv. 1777.  m. 5 Nov. 1777, his cos. Grizel, da. of George Chalmers of Pittencrieff, Fife, 6s. 3da.  suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 1789.

Offices Held

Clerk of justiciary 1783; raised to the Scottish bench as Lord Glenlee 1795, res. 1840.


In 1774, Miller as a youth of 19 called James Boswell to account for charges of prejudice in the trial of John Reid levelled against his father, the lord justice clerk, in a pseudonymous letter in the London Chronicle. But the affair was eventually amicably settled through the mediation of Miller’s uncle Patrick, who said to Boswell:1

My nephew, though not yet known in the world is, I assure you, an uncommon young man. He is a thinking metaphysical fellow; and he will argue himself into a persuasion that he is in the right and though upon this occasion he has nothing to say he may keep a resentment in his mind and some years after this easily contrive to make a quarrel with you in which he shall be a principal. It was therefore to be wished that this affair were effectually settled that no bad blood may remain.

Possessed of a fortune independent of his father,2 whose politics he followed, Miller contested Edinburgh in 1780 on the Government interest against Sir Lawrence Dundas. On 1 Feb. 1781 Miller spoke in defence of Sir Hugh Palliser’s appointment to Greenwich Hospital.3 Unseated on 23 Mar. 1781, he does not appear to have sought to re-enter Parliament.

He died 9 May 1846.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. Private Pprs. x. 34.
  • 2. Pol. State of Scotland 1788, p. 31.
  • 3. Debrett, i. 400-2.