MUNRO, Sir Hector (?1725-1806), of Novar, Ross.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1768 - 1802

Family and Education

b. ?1725, 1st s. of Hugh Munro, merchant, of Clayside, Sutherland by Isobel Gordon, gdda. of Sir Robert Gordon, 2nd Bt., MP [S], of Embo. unm., 2s. 1da. suc. fa. c.1761; acquired possession of Novar estate from cos. George Munro bef. 1768; KB 23 Mar. 1779.

Offices Held

Ensign, Loudoun’s regt. 1747-8, 48 Ft. 1749; lt. 31 Ft. 1754, capt. 1756; maj. 89 Ft. 1759, command at Patna 1764-5; brevet lt.-col. on half-pay 1765, brevet col. 1777; maj.-gen. (local rank India) 1777, c.-in-c. Madras 1777-80; maj.-gen. 1782; col. 42 Ft. 1787-d.; lt. -gen. 1793, gen. 1798.

Provost, Fortrose 1767-76, 1805-d.


Although Munro supported Pitt on the Regency question, there was speculation in Scottish Whig circles that his long-established control over Inverness Burghs, which rested on the wealth acquired during his erratic Indian military career, was under threat from Henry Dundas. In the event, neither the minister nor opposition made any move to unseat him in 1790 or 1796, when Fortrose and Inverness, where his power chiefly lay, were the returning burghs.

Shortly after the election of 1790 Lady Sutherland encountered Munro, ‘rather in the character of a fish out of water’, among the British upper set in Paris. He was absent from the division on the exemption of Scotland from the Test Act, 10 May 1791, reckoned ‘doubtful’. On 16 Dec. 1792, when soliciting local patronage, he told Dundas that although he had as yet received no summons of attendance for the new session he would ‘set off for the south soon’, but there is no record of his having voted or spoken in the House during this period.1 He invested £5,000 in the 1797 loyalty loan. In 1802, his seat was attacked by the combined Cumming and Grant interests with the approval of Dundas and he was defeated by the casting vote of Nairn. His petition, in the preparation of which Whig activists were involved, was unsuccessful.2

Munro, who in 1805 vainly solicited a baronetcy from Pitt,3 died, ‘aged 80’, 6 Jan. 1806.4

Blair Adam mss, Mackenzie to Adam, 15 Oct. 1788; N. Riding RO, Zetland mss X2/1/810.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Leveson Gower, i. 28; SRO GD51/5/364/4.
  • 2. NLS mss 1053, ff. 98-102; Blair Adam mss, Fraser to Adam, 4 Aug., Mackintosh to same, 5 Aug. 1802.
  • 3. Add. 38378, f. 80.
  • 4. Scots Mag. (1806), 79; A. Mackenzie, Hist. Monros, 535; the date of death corrects that in HP 1754-90.