FARQUHARSON, Archibald (1793-1841), of Finzean, Banchory, Aberdeen.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1820 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 6 Aug. 1793, o.s. of Archibald Farquharson of Finzean and 1st w. Christian Spring.1 m. 16 Sept. 1814, Frances, da. of Francis Russel of Blackhall, Strachan, s.p. suc. fa. 1796. d. 14 May 1841.

Offices Held


Farquharson’s father, the son of a merchant, succeeded to the Finzean estates in Aberdeenshire on the death of his second cousin Francis Farquharson in 1786. His first wife, this Member’s mother, died in 1793. He subsequently married Mary Campbell of Islay, but died on 8 Mar. 1796. Farquharson’s early life is obscure. At the general election of 1820 he was the late choice of the 6th earl of Kintore as his candidate for Elgin Burghs, where he and Colonel Francis Grant* operated a system of alternating nomination. In Grant’s absence abroad his precarious interest in Elgin was under attack from the 4th Earl Fife* in a campaign marked by kidnappings and legal trickery. Farquharson received the votes of the delegates for Cullen (the returning burgh) and Kintore, while his opponent General Alexander Duff*, Fife’s brother, got those of the Banff and Inverurie delegates. Rival delegates from Elgin voted for their respective candidates, but their votes were rejected as illegal by the returning officer, who declared Farquharson elected by Cullen’s casting vote. Duff’s petition was not pursued.2

Farquharson followed Kintore’s opposition line of politics in the House, though he never joined Brooks’s, but after an initial burst of activity before Easter 1821 his attendance fell away dramatically.3 He was granted a month’s leave on account of ill health, 1 June 1820. He voted to condemn the omission of Queen Caroline’s name from the liturgy, 23, 26 Jan, presented an Inverurie petition for its restoration, 1 Feb.,4 and divided for inquiry into the conduct of the sheriffs of Cheshire and Dublin at meetings in support of the queen, 20, 22 Feb.; but he was absent from the division on the opposition censure motion, 6 Feb. 1821. He was in a minority of 11 against the navy estimates, 2 Feb.5 He voted to condemn the Holy Alliance’s suppression of liberalism in Naples, 21 Feb., and for investigation of a complaint against chief justice Best, 23 Feb. He was in the majority for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. He voted to give Leeds a scot and lot franchise if it got Grampound’s seats, 2 Mar. He divided for repeal of the tax on husbandry horses, 5 Mar., and the additional malt duty, 21 Mar., 3 Apr. He was in minorities on the revenue, 6 Mar., and the army estimates, 30 Mar., 6 Apr., when he took part in ‘a desultory conversation’,6 11 Apr. On 30 Apr. 1821 he was given six weeks’ leave on urgent private business, and his next known vote was not until 24 Apr. 1822, when he was in Burdett’s minority for remission of Henry Hunt’s* gaol sentence. He voted for abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 2 May 1822. He attended the Aberdeen dinner held to applaud the parliamentary exertions of the radical Joseph Hume, 5 Sept. 1822.7 In 1823 he divided for a reduction of £7,000,000 in taxes, 28 Feb., inquiry into the Irish church establishment, 4 Mar., amendments to the ordnance estimates, 10, 17 Mar., inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., and Lord John Russell’s parliamentary reform motion, 24 Apr. He was given a fortnight’s leave on private business, 17 Feb., and presented a Forfarshire petition against interference with the corn laws, 5 May 1825.8 His last known votes were against the duke of Cumberland’s annuity, 2, 9, 10 June, and the grant for repairs to Lyme Regis cobb, 3 June 1825. He retired from Parliament at the dissolution in 1826, when Fife had gained the upper hand in the Burghs.

Farquharson died childless in May 1841. He was succeeded in the Finzean property by his uncle John Farquharson, who on his death in 1849 was succeeded by his son Francis.9

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. A. Jervise, Epitaphs and Inscriptions in NE of Scotland, ii. 44.
  • 2. NAS GD248/824/2/63, 64, 68, 90; Inverness Courier, 6 Apr. 1820.
  • 3. Session of Parl. 1825, p. 463.
  • 4. The Times, 2 Feb. 1821.
  • 5. HLRO, Hist. Coll. 379, Grey Bennet diary, 11.
  • 6. The Times, 7 Apr. 1821.
  • 7. Ibid. 12 Sept. 1822.
  • 8. Ibid. 6 May 1825.
  • 9. Jervise, ii. 44.