GRAHAM, James, Mq. of Graham (1755-1836).

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



1780 - 1784
1784 - 23 Sept. 1790

Family and Education

b. 8 Sept. 1755, o. surv. s. of William, 2nd Duke of Montrose [S] and 2nd Earl Graham [GB], by Lady Lucy Manners, da. of John Manners, 2nd Duke of Rutland. educ. Eton 1765-72; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1773-5; Grand Tour until 1778. m. (1) 3 Mar. 1785, Lady Jemima Elizabeth Ashburnham (d.17 Sept. 1786), da. of John, 2nd Earl of Ashburnham, 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 24 July 1790, Lady Caroline Maria Montagu, da. of George Montagu, 4th Duke of Manchester, 2s. 5da. suc. fa. as 3rd Duke of Montrose [S] and 3rd Earl Graham [GB] 23 Sept. 1790; KT 14 June 1793, res. when appointed KG 31 Mar. 1812.

Offices Held

Ld. of Treasury Dec. 1783-Aug. 1789; vice-pres. Board of Trade Aug. 1789-Oct. 1790, pres. June 1804-Feb. 1806; PC 8 Aug. 1789; jt. paymaster-gen. Sept. 1789-Mar. 1791; master of the horse Dec. 1790-Mar. 1795, Apr. 1807-Dec. 1821; commr. Board of Control May 1791-Oct. 1803; ld. justice-gen. [S] Mar 1795-d.; jt. postmaster-gen. July 1804-Feb. 1806; ld. chamberlain Dec. 1821-May 1827, 1828-30.

Ld. lt. Hunts. 1790-3, Stirling 1794-d., Dunbarton 1813-d.

Chancellor, Glasgow Univ. 1780-d.

Col. Fife militia 1798, brevet col. 1798, Stirling militia 1802; capt.-gen. R. co. Scottish archers 1824-30.


Returned for Bedwyn on the Ailesbury interest on 19 June 1790, Graham succeeded to the dukedom on 23 Sept., two months before the opening of the session. Pitt thereby lost the services of an effective debater in the lower House. Subsequently he combined the roles of minor office holder in the outer cabinet, courtier and Scottish grandee.1 The Duke of Portland wished to see him Foreign secretary in 1801, but he was offered and declined the lord lieutenancy of Ireland, which had eluded him in 1789.2 In 1802 he took advantage of the favour of Addington and the apparent eclipse of his former ally Henry Dundas* to cut a figure in Scottish elections, in Stirling and Fife. He was touchy about patronage matters and threatened to resign his offices in November 1804.3 Pitt’s death ended his political career, as he was out of sympathy with the Grenville ministry. After 1807 he held court appointments only. He died 30 Dec. 1836.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Geo. III. Corresp. ii. 1190.
  • 2. Sidmouth mss, Portland to Addington, 11 Feb. 1801; Pellew, Sidmouth, i. 346; HMC Fortescue, i. 525, 527.
  • 3. PRO, Dacres Adams mss 5/111.