HUGHAN, Thomas (c.1760-1811), of 8 Billiter Square, London and 12 Devonshire Place, Marylebone, Mdx.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1760 at Burns, Kirkmabreck, Kirkcudbright, 1st s. of Alexander Hughan, merchant in Creetown; bro. of Alexander (d. 30 Mar. 1810) and bro.-in-law of James Dalzell of Armagh. m. 1 Feb. 1810, Jean, da. of Robert Milligan, W.I. merchant, of Hampstead, Mdx., 1s. posth.; 2da. illegit.1 Served heir to fa. 1775.
Dir. W.I. Dock Co. 1803, dep. chairman 1805, 1808; dir. Imperial Insurance Co. 1805-d.
Maj. W.I. Dock Co. vols. 1803.
Hughan, a West India merchant in London, had spent ten years in Jamaica. So he informed the House, sitting on the Newcastle interest for Retford, in his maiden speech, 27 Feb. 1807. This was a ‘solemn protest’ against the abolition of the slave trade in which he attempted to refute the calumnies against the slave owners and warned that the bill was ‘fraught with ruin to the colonies and to the empire’. He voted with the diehards against it, 23 Feb. and 6 Mar. He had in 1803 given evidence to the commissioners of naval inquiry on the naval storekeepers in Jamaica. A defaulter on 10 Apr. 1807, he was defeated at the ensuing election, but gave evidence to the House’s West Indian committee in July 1807 and May 1808.2
Soon afterwards, a vacancy was found for him as a government supporter for an Irish borough placed by Lord Roden at Treasury disposal. He rallied to Perceval’s ministry on the address and Scheldt questions, 23 Jan.-5 Mar. 1810 and was then listed ‘doubtful’ from the Whig standpoint. He further opposed the discharge of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr., and sinecure reform, 17 May 1810. No further votes are known. He was examined at length by the bullion committee, 27 Feb. 1810, as to the bullion supply of Jamaica, and his only further contributions to debate, the same session, were in defence of the West India Dock Company, charged with paying excessive dividends.
Hughan, an investor in East India Company stock, died after a sudden illness, 29 Oct. 1811, two days before his son and heir was born. According to an obituary, his Scottish address was The Hill, Luetown, Galloway; his son Thomas (d.1879) resided at Airds in Parton in the Stewartry.2