GRAHAM, George (1730-1801), of Kinross House, Kinross.

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



1780 - 1784
1790 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 17 May 1730, 1st and o. surv. s. of John Graham, merchant in Edinburgh, of Kernock by 1st w. Agnes, da. of Rev. Robert MacFarlane, minister of Buchanan, Stirling; half-bro. of Thomas Graham II* unm. 1s.

Offices Held

Burgess, Edinburgh 1777; ld. lt. Kinross 1794-d.


On the proceeds of a rapid fortune in India, Graham had established himself as an East India merchant in London, invested in East India Company stock, purchased the Kinross estate and, as representative for that county in the Parliament of 1780, supported North’s ministry and voted for Fox’s India bill. He disappointed the hopes of Pitt’s friends that he would be a convert to his administration. As anticipated he offered again for Kinross in 1790. He was unopposed, although a recent House of Lords decision shook his life-rent votes. The only possible contender, William Adam* was content to support him, ‘his politics being ours’, hoping ‘to fix him invariable to the party’.1

Graham voted, as predicted, for the exemption of Scotland from the Test Act, 10 May 1791, but he did not appear in the other surviving minority lists for that Parliament, and may not have attended well.2 His name was placed on a list of Portland Whigs in December 1792, but deleted. That government found him unexceptionable is suggested by his appointment as lord lieutenant in 1794.

Kinross was not represented in 1796, but in 1799 Graham contemplated substituting his half-brother Thomas for himself at the next election. Unsure of his ground, he canvassed some voters for himself and others for his brother: this did not satisfy the independent interest. Graham had to be consoled with their promise of continued support for him personally, as they would not support Thomas Graham.3 He died 18 Dec. 1801, leaving his interest in a vulnerable condition, as by his will he left his estate to his illegitimate son James, on condition that the latter married Thomas Graham’s daughter Anne Maria: on the non-fulfilment of this condition the estate reverted to Thomas Graham.4 The latter had to wait until 1811 to secure his return for Kinross.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: D. G. Henry


  • 1. Blair Adam mss, W. to J. Adam, Mon. [3 May 1790].
  • 2. CJ, li. 103-4.
  • 3. Blair Adam mss, Moncreiff Wellwood to Adam, 15 July 1799.
  • 4. Brougham and his Early Friends, i. 161, 267, 294, 337.