FALL, James (d.1743), of Dunbar.

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



Family and Education

3rd s. of Robert Fall, merchant, burgess and bencher of Dunbar, M.P. [S] Dunbar 1693-1702. m. c.1723, Jean, da. of Patrick Murray of Pennyland, Caithness, 1s. 2da.

Offices Held


Fall was one of four brothers, described as the most considerable merchants of their time in Scotland.1 Reputedly of gypsy origin, the family were the chief magistrates of Dunbar, one of the Haddington district of burghs, for which Fall was returned after a contest as a government supporter in 1734. He is shown in a list of the division on the Spanish convention, for which he voted, as holding a lease in Holy Island.2 Next year he voted with the Government on the place bill. During the ensuing election campaign Lord Ilay, the government manager in Scotland, sent a letter to Walpole ‘by a servant 20 miles out of town to Mr. Fall’s town, where the Duke of Argyll’s attorney cannot get it’.3 Fall himself stood again for Haddington Burghs, where there was a double return, on which he withdrew, leaving the seat to be awarded to his opponent. Appointed collector of the bishops’ rents in Scotland on the day of Walpole’s resignation,4 he died 25 Dec. 1743.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Sc. Antiq. xvi. 127-32.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. 1739, p. 305.
  • 3. 14 Sept. 1740, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1742-5, p. 211.