BRODIE, Alexander (1748-1812).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



22 Dec. 1785 - 1790
1790 - 1802

Family and Education

b. 3 Mar. 1748, 3rd s. of James Brodie of Spynie, Elginshire, adv., sheriff of Elgin, by his w. Emilia. m. 16 Aug. 1793, Elizabeth Margaret da. of Hon. James Wemyss of Wemyss, 1da.

Offices Held


In 1759 Brodie’s brother succeeded a 2nd cousin as laird of Brodie. The estates were heavily encumbered, and Alexander had to seek his fortune abroad as a writer in the East India Company’s service in Madras. As a commissary and by private trade he amassed great wealth, narrowly escaped capture by Hyder Ali’s troops in 1782, and returned home in 1783-4.1

The ‘nabob’ soon acquired considerable influence in the north as a leader of the Moray Association, independent of Lord Fife, the Duke of Gordon and other established interests. At the Nairnshire by-election of December 1785 he was returned as a Government supporter against a Coalition candidate. He voted with Administration on Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786, and remained faithful throughout the Regency crisis. He is not known to have spoken in the House.

As Nairnshire was not to be represented in the 1790 Parliament, Brodie from 1786 was bargaining with several interests for another seat. His friendship with Henry Dundas, his extensive family connexions and ‘oriental wealth’ gave him a chance in Elgin Burghs, Elgin, and Cromarty.2 In the event, as a result of Dundas’s ‘pacification’ of the Fife, Gordon, Grant, and Findlater interests, he was returned unopposed for Elgin Burghs. ‘A worthy friend’ whom Dundas wished ‘at all times to oblige’,3 he died 15 Jan. 1812.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. H. D. Love, Vestiges of Old Madras, iii. 138, 164, 174, 240.
  • 2. See the Duke of Gordon’s ‘Fair Statement of Northern Politics’ (1786), Melville mss, NLS; H. Furber, Henry Dundas, 229-30.
  • 3. Dundas to Pitt, 2 Oct. 1790, HMC Fortescue, i. 610.