BAILLIE, George (1664-1738), of Jerviswood, Lanark.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1707 - 1708
1708 - 1734

Family and Education

b. 16 Mar. 1664, 1st s. of Robert Baillie of Jerviswood by Rachel, da. of Sir Archibald Johnston of Warriston, Edinburgh, Lord Warriston in Cromwellian Parliament. educ. ?Utrecht 1682. m. 17 Sept. 1691, Grisell, da. of Sir Patrick Hume, 1st Earl of Marchmont [S], 1s. 2da. one of whom m. Sir Alexander Murray, 3rd Bt., of Stanhope. suc. fa. 1684.

Offices Held

M.P. [S] Berwickshire 1693-8, 1700-1, Lanarkshire 1703-7.

Served in Prince of Orange’s Horse Gds. c.1685-9; commr. of supply, Berwickshire and Lanarkshire 1689; commr. of militia 1689; receiver gen. [S] 1693; ld. treasurer depute [S] 1704-5; P.C. [S] ?1704-?8.

Ld. of Trade 1710-12, of Admiralty 1714-17, of Treasury 1717-25.


George Baillie’s father was executed in 1684 on a charge of complicity in the Rye House plot. After the execution Baillie fled to Holland with his father’s political associate, Sir Patrick Hume, whose daughter he married. Returning with William of Orange, he played a prominent part in Scotland as a leader of the Squadrone, whose votes gave the Act of Union a majority in the Edinburgh Parliament. Elected to the first British Parliament on the interest of his father-in-law, now Earl of Marchmont, he represented Berwickshire as a Whig for 26 years, according to his daughter ‘without its ever costing him a shilling except a dinner the day of the election’.1 Appointed lord of the Admiralty at George I’s accession, he was one of the ten ‘chief men in place’ in the new House of Commons,2 seconding the impeachment of Lord Strafford in 1715 and speaking for the Government on the vote for measures against Sweden, 9 Apr. 1717. Promoted to the new Treasury board which was formed on Walpole’s resignation a week later, he retained his office after Walpole’s return to the Treasury in 1721, acting as consultant on matters relating to Scotland.3 In 1723 he describes himself as wishing well to Walpole, who professed a personal regard for him, but as ‘now quite out of business’ and ready to ‘make room for others’.4 Turned out when the Squadrone element in the ministry was replaced by the adherents of the Duke of Argyll and Lord Ilay in May 1725 with a pension equal to his salary,5 he is not recorded as voting in the next Parliament. From May 1731 to October 1733 he was in Italy with his wife.6 Standing down in 1734, he died 6 Aug. 1738.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: J. M. Simpson


  • 1. G. Murray, Mems. of Rt. Hon. George & Lady Grisell Baillie, 23.
  • 2. Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, ii. 184.
  • 3. E.g. Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1714-19, pp. 408, 472.
  • 4. HMC Portland Polwarth, iii. 286.
  • 5. Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, i. 487.
  • 6. Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie (Sc. Hist. Soc. ser. 2, i), 309-410.