GRAHAM, Robert (?1735-1797), of Gartmore, Stirling.

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



10 Nov. 1794 - 1796

Family and Education

b. ?1735, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Nicol Graham of Gartmore by Lady Margaret Cunninghame, da. of William, 11th Earl of Glencairn [S]. educ. Glasgow Univ. 1749. m. (1) Anne, da. of Patrick Taylor of Jamaica, 2s. 1da.; (2) Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Buchanan of Spittal and Leny, Perth, 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1760; cos. William Bontine, 14th of Ardoch 1770 (served heir 1 Apr. 1773) and took name of Bontine until his fa.’s death, 16 Nov. 1775; suc. John, 15th and last Earl of Glencairn [S] to Finlaystone estate and took additional name of Cunninghame 1796.

Offices Held

Receiver-gen. Jamaica 1753-64.

Rector, Glasgow Univ. 1785-7.


In 1788 Robert Graham, a former Jamaica planter with a ‘good estate’, was reported to be ‘connected with Lord Graham but is now attached to opposition and Sir Thomas Dundas’. He demonstrated this as president of the convention for the reform of the Scotch burghs. When Sir Thomas obtained a peerage in 1794, Graham was returned unopposed in succession to him for Stirlingshire and, forswearing his former Whig ideas, as a supporter of government. He made no mark in Parliament and by August 1795 it was known that he did not intend to offer again at the general election. On 24 Nov. he was a defaulter. His son and heir William Bontine* was put up for Stirlingshire by the Duke of Montrose in 1796, an arrangement that Robert Graham chose to oppose: possibly because it was clear to him that his son was too much committed to the Whigs to support ministers. Graham, who was best known as a writer of lyrics, died 11 Dec. 1797, aged 62.

Pol. State of Scotland 1788, p. 333; DNB.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne