BUSHBY MAITLAND, John (Hay) (c.1765-1822), of Eccles, Dumfries.

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



1818 - 8 Apr. 1819

Family and Education

b. c.1765, 1st s. of John Bushby of Tinwald Downs and Windyhill, sheriff-clerk of Dumfries, by Grizell, da. of Charles Maitland of Eccles. educ. Edinburgh Univ. 1785-6; adv. 1788. m. 7 Sept. 1805, Elizabeth Harriett, da. of William Camac of London, 2s. 4da. suc. fa. 1802; to Eccles by 1811, and took additional name of Maitland.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Wigtown 1794-1818; capt. Dumfries vols. 1803, Nithsdale batt., Dumfries militia 1808.


Lawrence Hill, WS, had the following to say of this Member’s father in his survey of Kirkcudbright in 1788:

Bushby, the elder, is a very active man. He is the factor on all the estates of the Earl of Galloway, and Mr Murray of Broughton, and Mr Graham of Netherby, and has much to say with them. He would be a serviceable political agent in this part of Scotland, and wishes to connect himself with Dundas in that way, but if the present opposition come into power it is hoped he will be willing to join them. His great object will be business and preferment to his son, who has a separate estate in Dumfriesshire, and is a lawyer.

Hill’s comment on Bushby senior as a Dumfriesshire freeholder added that he was ‘not rich’ and ‘Will be influenced by views of preferment to his son, who has a good estate, and means to make votes in this county’.1 The father duly placed himself under Dundas’s aegis and, as a reward for his services in the Stewartry, saw his son appointed sheriff of Wigtown in 1794.2

On his mother’s side Bushby Maitland was descended from a cadet branch of the earls of Lauderdale, whose surname he took on acquiring the Eccles estate. His eldest son was christened Lauderdale and, like the 8th Earl, he espoused Whig politics. On 30 Apr. 1812 he proposed the amendment to the loyal address from Dumfriesshire. The year before he had been presented with a gold box at Dumfries for his services as parliamentary counsel for the tonnage and police bills.3 He may well have been the relative of Lauderdale’s whom the earl was interested in promoting as candidate for Grampound in 1814.

In 1818 he vacated his office on being returned for Camelford as Lord Darlington’s nominee. He signed the requisition to Tierney to lead the opposition and voted with them at least seven times before his election was declared void in the following April. He spoke once, in defence of burgh reform, 26 Mar. 1819. He was defeated at the fresh election and remained out of Parliament. He died 9 Mar. 1822.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Pol. State of Scotland 1788, pp. 102, 209.
  • 2. SRO GD10/1421/362; 51/1/200/16; Portland mss PwF3490.
  • 3. Edinburgh Advertiser, 6 Sept. 1811, 3 May 1812.