TRAIL, Henry (?1755-1835), of Lower Brook Street, Mdx. and Dairslie, Fife.

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



Family and Education

b. ?1755, 5th s. of Rev. William Trail, minister of Abercrombie, Fife by his cos. Mary, da. of Rev. Robert Trail, minister of Panbride, Forfar; bro. of James Trail*. m. 4 Mar. 1790, at Calcutta, Anne Simpson (d. Feb. 1832), 1s. 1da.

Offices Held


Trail was a merchant and agent in Calcutta between 1783 and 1800 and joined with his partners there in the London banking house of Paxton, Cockerell and Trail of 57 Pall Mall (1813-20). He had purchased the Dairslie estate in Fife, the ancestral seat of his family, from Sir James Gibson Craig of Riccartoun in 1806. In that year he was listed as an East India Company stockholder. At his first attempt he was returned to Parliament for Weymouth in 1812 after a contest, as one of the nominees of the trustees of the late patron Sir John Lowther Johnstone. He was allegedly sponsored by Lord Hertford, a benefactor to his family, and the Treasury was interested in his success.1 His election was, however, declared void on grounds of treating not long afterwards and subsequently he had ‘no inclination’ to be in Parliament. He tried to get out of paying his election expenses.2

He died 15 Feb. 1835 at Norfolk Street, Park Lane, ‘aged 80’, leaving his estate on trust for his son Henry Grant Trail, whose health he described as ‘uncertain’ (7 June 1833), with remainder to his daughter Henrietta Eliza, wife of Hon. Thomas Erskine, on whom he had settled £10,000 upon her marriage in 1814.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. N. and Q. (ser. 12), ii. 297; Brougham mss J571; Northumb. RO, Wallace (Belsay) mss S76/3/61; Add. 38262, f. 352.
  • 2. See WEYMOUTH AND MELCOMBE REGIS; Wallace mss S76/5/65; 9/26, 30, 31.
  • 3. Gent. Mag. (1835), i. 331; PCC 204 Gloucester.