FALCONER, John (1674-1764), of Phesdo, Kincardine.

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



1734 - 1741

Family and Education

b. 21 Oct. 1674, 1st s. of Sir James Falconer, M.P. [S], of Phesdo, Lord Phesdo, S.C.J., by his w. Elizabeth Trent. educ. adv. 1700. unm. suc. fa. 1705.

Offices Held

Commr. of justiciary for the Highlands 1701, 1702.


As a young man, Falconer lived many years in France, developing a great admiration and affection for it. Returned at the age of 60 for his county, he attracted Walpole’s interest by voting ‘steadily with us without asking anything or coming near me’. Duncan Forbes thereupon arranged for Falconer to dine with Walpole, later asking him why he had been so shy in paying his respects to the prime minister when he was so strenuous a supporter of his measures. Falconer is said to have replied:

I think the French the happiest people under the sun; nay, I like their government, which is a good one for one that minds his own business. In my opinion Sir Robert’s measures bid fair to make Britain one day a province of France, which, I think, would be a blessing to us.

He did not stand again, dying 21 Nov. 1764, aged 90, ‘bent like the segment of a circle, ... a very keen golfer and a very facetious, pleasing companion’.1

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Ramsay of Ochtertyre, Scotland and Scotsmen in the 18th Cent. i. 56-57.