GRAHAM, Sandford (1788-1852), of Kirkstall, nr. Leeds, Yorks.; Edmond Castle, nr. Carlisle, Cumb. and 1 Portland Place, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



13 Apr. 1812 - 1812
22 Dec. 1812 - 25 Apr. 1815
1818 - 1826
1830 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 10 Mar. 1788, 3rd but o. surv. s. of Sir James Graham*, 1st bt., of Kirkstall and Anne, da. of Rev. Thomas Moore of Kirkstall. educ. Eton 1802; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1806. m. 22 Apr. 1819, Caroline, da. of John Langston† of Sarsden House, Oxon. 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 21 Mar. 1825. d. 18 Sept. 1852.

Offices Held


Since 1812, with one interruption, Graham had represented Ludgershall on the interest of his father, Tory Member for Carlisle. Despite their political differences, Graham, who in late 1819 had signed the requisition for a Wiltshire meeting on Peterloo and the county constitutional declaration condemning it, was again returned unopposed at the general election of 1820.1 On 17 Apr. he wrote to James Atkinson to apologize for his inability to attend a dinner for the defeated Whig candidate in Westmorland, Henry Brougham*, stating that

no man can be more friendly to the cause of independence wherever it may be assisted than myself ... but the kind of connection which has subsisted so long between the family of Lowther and my father, and the friendship which I have long experienced from that family from my earliest years, would render it highly indelicate in me to take a decided part on the occasion of the present contest.2

Almost entirely silent in the House, he voted against the Liverpool ministry on the civil list, 5, 8 May, and the appointment of an addition baron of exchequer in Scotland, 15 May, and continued to act regularly with the Whigs, notably in their campaign for lower expenditure and taxation in the early 1820s.3 He divided with opposition on the Queen Caroline affair, 26 June 1820, as he did consistently in the early weeks of the following session. He voted to censure the conduct of the Allies over Naples, 21 Feb., and to receive the petition of Thomas Davison complaining of ill treatment by Justice Best, 23 Feb. 1821. He was shut out of the division on parliamentary reform, 18 Apr., and was listed as an absentee on this, 9 May, but voted for the bill to secure the independence of Parliament, 31 May. He divided to repeal the Blasphemous and Seditious Libel Acts, 8 May, against the author of an article in John Bull being imprisoned for breach of privilege, 11 May, and for the forgery punishment mitigation bill, 23 May, 4 June 1821. He sided with opposition on Sir Robert Wilson’s* removal from the army, 13 Feb., the outrage against Robert Waithman*, 28 Feb., and the remission of Henry Hunt’s* sentence, 24 Apr. 1822. In what was presumably his maiden speech, 25 Feb., he acquitted the post office of all blame in the charging of Members for petitions sent with their ends sealed.4 He voted for parliamentary reform, 25 Apr., and to condemn the influence of the crown, 24 June 1822. He divided for repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr., and inquiry into the legal proceedings against the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr. 1823. He voted for information on ministers’ conduct towards France and Spain, 17 Feb., reform of the representation of Edinburgh, 26 Feb., to refer the reports on Scottish courts to a committee of the whole House, 30 Mar., and in condemnation of the trial of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara, 11 June 1824. During February and March 1825 he voted steadily against the Irish unlawful societies bill. As he had on 28 Feb. 1821, he divided for Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May. In March he succeeded to his father’s title, the residue of a personalty sworn under £45,000, and the family estates, which included the manor and lordship of Ludgershall.5 He divided against the duke of Cumberland’s annuity, 2, 9, 10 June, and to abolish flogging in the navy, 9 June 1825. He voted against going into committee on the Bank Charter Acts, 13 Feb., and for compelling country banks to make monthly returns of the number of notes in circulation, 7 Mar. 1826. Although he now controlled at least half the representation in Ludgershall, at the general election of 1826 he presumably sold his seat to another Whig, George Agar Ellis.

At the general election of 1830 he displaced Agar Ellis to come in unopposed on his own interest.6 He was listed by the duke of Wellington’s ministry among their ‘foes’, and duly voted against them on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He divided for the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and against Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He again returned himself at the ensuing general election. He divided in favour of the second reading of the reintroduced bill, 6 July, and frequently for its details. Supporting the suppression of rotten boroughs on the motion for the disfranchisement of Ludgershall, 22 July, he stated with heavy irony that ‘as the patron of this borough has determined to give his support to the bill, I, as the nominee, am obliged to obey him’. He divided with government on the Dublin election controversy, 23 Aug., the passage of the reform bill, 21 Sept., the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept., and Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. He voted for the second reading of the revised bill, 17 Dec. 1831, the disfranchisement of Appleby, 21 Feb., and the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb. 1832. He divided for the third reading of the reform bill, 22 Mar., and paired for Ebrington’s motion for an address calling on the king to appoint only ministers who would carry the bill unimpaired, 10 May. His only other known votes were for the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 16, 20 July 1832. Graham, who was fond of inviting people to breakfast ‘in order to observe their habitual appearance’, left Parliament at the dissolution that year and died in September 1852. He was succeeded by his three surviving sons consecutively: Sandford (1821-75), on whom the Kirkstall estate had been settled during his lifetime, Lumley (1828-90) and Cyril (1834-95), on whose death the baronetcy became extinct.7

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Stephen Farrell


  • 1. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iv. 55; Salisbury Jnl. 6 Dec. 1819.
  • 2. Brougham mss.
  • 3. Black Bk. (1823), 158; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 465.
  • 4. The Times, 26 Feb. 1822.
  • 5. PROB 11/1699/259; IR26/1041/301.
  • 6. Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 4 June 1830.
  • 7. Gent. Mag. (1852), ii. 526; W.H. MacKean, The Grahams of Kirkstall, 14-15.