LOCKHART ROSS, John (1721-90), of Balnagown, Ross.

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



1768 - 1774

Family and Education

b. 11 Nov. 1721, 5th s. of Sir James Lockhart, 2nd Bt., of Carstairs by Grizel, da. of William, 12th Lord Ross [S].  m. 6 Sept. 1762, Elizabeth Baillie, da. of Robert Dundas and h. to her mother Henrietta Baillie Carmichael of Lamington and Bonnington, Lanark, 5s. 5da.  suc. bro. Sir James Ross Lockhart, 4th Bt., and took name of Ross 1760; bro. Sir George Lockhart as 6th Bt. 13 Aug. 1778.

Offices Held

Entered R.N. 1735; lt. 1743; capt. 1756; r.-adm. 1779; v.-adm. 1787.


Lord Hyndford wrote to Newcastle on 28 Oct. 1758:1

As the town of Lanark, which has the return at next election, is tired of its present Member, Mr. Murray of Philiphaugh, and seems fond of Captain John Lockhart ... who has behaved so well at sea, I would humbly propose to your Grace that he should be the man, for he is much more to be depended upon than t’other.

Before April 1760 Murray had withdrawn from the contest, and in April 1761 Lockhart Ross was returned unopposed. In Parliament he supported the Bute and Grenville Administrations, and voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766. He was a friend and constituent in Ross of James Stuart Mackenzie, who wrote of him, 28 Aug. 1766:2 ‘He has constantly acted a firm and honourable part towards my brother [Bute] and me, with the warmest attachment to us all along.’

In 1766 he began his campaign for re-election. The town council of Selkirk had offered their support to John Murray of Philiphaugh ‘as more agreeable to them than their present Member’,3 but James Stuart Mackenzie secured for him the support of Lord March4 and Lockhart Ross was returned. He stood also for Lanarkshire (where his wife’s estates considerably increased his electoral influence), in opposition to Andrew Stuart, the Hamilton candidate, and Daniel Campbell, the sitting Member.

In the morning of the election [14 Apr. 1768] it was decided by lot which of the two competitors, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Ross, should join the other. The fortunate lot was in favour of the latter and their joint forces carried it against Mr. Stuart.5

Lockhart Ross elected to sit for Lanarkshire and vacated his seat for the burghs.

In the new Parliament he made no greater figure, voting as before consistently with the court. In 1774 he stood once more for Lanarkshire, against Andrew Stuart, Daniel Campbell and Archibald Steuart Douglas, but withdrew on a compromise arranged between Andrew Stuart and Robert and Henry Dundas, and never re-entered Parliament. In 1778 on the outbreak of war with France he rejoined the navy and played a distinguished part at the relief of Gibraltar. At the end of hostilities he retired to Balnagown.

He died 9 June 1790.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Edith Lady Haden-Guest


  • 1. Add. 32885, f. 120.
  • 2. Caldwell Pprs. ii (2), p. 89.
  • 3. T. Craig Brown, Hist. Selkirkshire, ii. 119.
  • 4. Caldwell Pprs. ii (2), p. 94.
  • 5. Duke of Argyll, Intimate Society Letters, i. 163.