HAY, Adam (1795-1867).

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



Family and Education

b. 14 Dec. 1795, 7th but 3rd surv. s. of John Hay (d. 1830), banker, of Edinburgh and Haystoun, Peebles and Hon. Mary Elizabeth Forbes, da. of James, 16th Lord Forbes [S]; bro. of Sir John Hay, 6th bt*. m. 23 Mar. 1823, Henrietta Callender, da. of William Grant of Congalton, Haddington, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. bro. as 7th bt. 1 Nov. 1838. d. 18 Jan. 1867.

Offices Held


Hay entered the Edinburgh banking house of Forbes, Hunter and Company, in which his father was a partner. On his marriage in 1823 his father gave him £3,000.1 At the general election of 1826 he was returned for Linlithgow Burghs after securing the support of Lanark, Linlithgow and his family’s stronghold of Peebles, the returning burgh. He was reported to have been ‘not unmindful of the distressed operatives’ of Lanark, ‘for whose relief he subscribed very liberally’.2 He presented but dissented from the prayer of a Linlithgow petition against further relaxation of the corn laws, 26 Feb., and brought up one from Perthshire for protection against foreign wool imports, 6 June 1827.3 He was given three weeks’ leave on account of a family illness, 23 Mar. He was in the minorities of 37 for the separation of bankruptcy administration from chancery, 22 May, and of 16 against the Coventry magistracy bill, 11 June. Although he was reckoned to be one of the ‘sworn allies’ of the former minister and Scottish manager the 2nd Viscount Melville, who had resigned rather than serve in Canning’s coalition ministry, he divided with government for the grant for Canadian water defences, 12 June 1827.4 He was unable to comply with the new Wellington administration’s request for his attendance at the opening of the 1828 session, but assured Peel, the home secretary, of his ‘determination to support the line of politics, and party, you might think most likely to benefit the nation’.5 He was in their majority against chancery reform, 24 Apr. He presented petitions for repeal of the stamp duty on merchants’ receipts, 22 Feb., and restrictions on wool imports, 16 May. As expected, he voted with government for Catholic emancipation, 6, 30 Mar. 1829. He presented constituency petitions against the Scottish gaols bill, 12 May 1829. He voted against Lord Blandford’s parliamentary reform scheme, 18 Feb., and the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb., and for the grant for South American missions, 7 June, but was in the majority against ministers for abolition of the Bathurst and Dundas pensions, 26 Mar. 1830. He presented petitions for repeal of the leather duties, 11 Mar., against renewal of the East India Company’s charter, 17, 30 Mar., and for an increased duty on rum, 12 May 1830. To the surprise of one local observer, he announced his retirement from Parliament when the king’s death the following month precipitated a general election.6

Hay duly became a partner in Forbes, Hunter and Company and an original member of the Edinburgh board of the Glasgow Union Bank which when it absorbed the firm in 1838.7 He succeeded his unmarried brother John to the family’s baronetcy and Peeblesshire estates in November that year. He died at Cannes in January 1867.8 He was succeeded by his second but first surviving son Robert Hay (1825-85).

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Hist. Peebles ed. J.W. Buchan, ii. 369; PROB 11/1777/606.
  • 2. Caledonian Mercury, 15, 26 June, 6 July; Glasgow Herald, 7 July 1826
  • 3. The Times, 27 Feb., 7 June 1827.
  • 4. Arniston Mems. 333.
  • 5. Add. 40395, f. 143.
  • 6. Hopetoun mss 167, f. 148.
  • 7. R. Saville, Bank of Scotland, 283, 400, 501.
  • 8. Gent. Mag. (1867), i. 384.