AUSTIN, Joseph (d.1735), of Kilspindie, Perth.
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Family and Education
prob. yr. s. of Thomas Austin, candlemaker, of Perth. m. by c.1700. Ann(a) Waters, 4s. (?1 d.v.p.) 7da.1
Bailie, Perth 1704–6; burgess, Edinburgh 1708.2
Austin was almost certainly a younger son of Thomas Austin, an English soldier in the Cromwellian army, who settled at Perth and became ‘the father of trade and navigation in the burgh’, according to an early 19th-century panegyric. By 1676 this Thomas, described as a candlemaker, had made a name for himself as a violent opponent of the ruling loyalist clique on the town council, and after an election riot was fined and temporarily barred from taking any burgh appointment. One of his sons, William (d. 1724), held municipal office in Perth continuously from 1704 to 1712, and was the pro-Hanoverian provost in 1715.3
Austin himself first comes to notice in September 1700 when he stood unsuccessfully for election to Perth council as a representative for the merchants, gaining that office at the second attempt in October 1702. He was Perth’s delegate to the first parliamentary election for the district in 1708, and as praeses engineered his own return, despite competition from Mungo Graham* and George Yeaman*. Not much can be said of his performance in the Commons, for he scarcely troubled the compilers of parliamentary records, and, so far as is known, did not contribute to any debate. A Presbyterian Whig, he was wrongly listed as having voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. In the run-up to the 1710 election he was criticized locally for his poor parliamentary performance. He did not stand in 1710, giving his interest to the Squadrone member John Haldane*. He died on 8 Nov. 1735, and was succeeded by his son, also called Joseph.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. IGI, Perth.
- 2. Memorabilia of Perth (1806), 197–8; Scot. Rec. Soc. lxii. 9.
- 3. Memorabilia of Perth, 197–201; SRO Indexes, lxv. 8; lxx. 6; Reg. PC Scotland, 1673–6, pp. 552–70; 1678–80, p. 362; Scot. Hist. Soc. ser. 3, xxv. 70–71.
- 4. Perth burgh recs. B59/24/2/2/12.1, elections to council, 20 Sept. 1700, 5 Oct. 1702, memorial, n.d. ; Lockhart Mems. ed. Szechi, 287; Calamy, Life, ii. 204–6, 208; Services of Heirs ser. 1, i. 1730–9, p. 2.