LIVINGSTON, Adam (c.1723-95), of Bantaskine, Stirling.

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



20 Feb. 1772 - 1780

Family and Education

b. c.1723, 2nd surv. s. of Sir James Livingston, 2nd Bt., of Glentirran and Bantaskine by Helen, da. and h. of Sir James Campbell, 2nd Bt., M.P., of Ardkinglas, Argyll. unm.  suc. fa. in Bantaskine estate 1771.

Offices Held

2nd lt. 21 Ft. 1742, capt. 1751, maj. 1758, lt.-col. 1762; ret. 1766.

Ld. treasurer’s remembrancer in Scottish Exchequer 1785.


Livingston served in Canada under Wolfe, who wrote to Lord George Sackville, 11 Feb. 1758:1 ‘Adam Livingston of the Scots Fusiliers [is] formed by nature for the American war.’ He was brought into Parliament by John, 5th Duke of Argyll and, an obscure and silent Government supporter, whose closest friends were army officers, only once voted against Administration—on the naval captains’ petition, 9 Feb. 1773. Argyll clearly regarded him as a dependant whose vote and services were at his disposal. James Boswell records2 that during his visit with Dr. Johnson to Inveraray in October 1773, Livingston

was desired by the Duke to go to another room for a specimen of curious marble which his Grace wished to show us. He brought a wrong piece, upon which the Duke sent him back again. He could not refuse; but to avoid any appearance of servility he whistled as he walked out of the room to show his independence.

Johnson, after hearing Livingston’s ‘vague’ conversation, commented: ‘a mighty misty man, the Colonel’.

In 1780, when the seat was required for Argyll’s brother Frederick, Livingston stood down, and did not attempt to re-enter Parliament.  He died 16 June 1795.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. HMC Stopford-Sackville, ii. 257.
  • 2. Boswell, Johnson, v. 358, 562.