LOCKHART, Sir Alexander Macdonald, 1st Bt. (?1776-1816), of Largie, Argyll and Lee Castle and Carnwath, Lanark.
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Family and Education
b. ?1776, 1st surv. s. of Charles Lockhart (afterwards Macdonald) by Elizabeth, da. and h. of John Macdonald of Largie. m. 29 Mar. 1798, Jane, da. of Daniel McNeill of Gallichoilly, Argyll, 3s. 2da. suc. cos. Charles, Count Lockhart Wishart, at Lee Castle and Carnwath and resumed name of Lockhart 1802; cr. Bt. 24 May 1806.
Lt.-col. R. Lanark militia 1804-10.
Lockhart was transformed by inheritance from his cousin into a wealthy landowner whose estates were estimated as producing £14,000 p.a.1 He contested the open borough of Berwick in 1806. In December 1805 the Earl of Lauderdale had approached William Adam* as to how Lockhart’s pretensions might be assisted. His friend the Marquess of Douglas subsequently approached Lord Grenville on his behalf, sending him a letter from Lockhart in which he wrote:
I again state, that I shall support the present administration, that I have supported them in Lanarkshire, that I neither vote in Edinburgh or Argyll, as there is no opposition, and that I therefore expect to be supported by government.
Grenville, already engaged to Alexander Allan*, was unable to help him and Lockhart himself asked Viscount Howick for local support, assuring him: ‘I exert every nerve in support of the present ministry’.2 Without government aid (but advised by William Adam) he was only narrowly beaten into third place and laid the basis of a future interest. After the general election of 1807 Alexander Tower* reported to Howick that ‘the friends of Lockhart had been supping ever since last election’ and, although he travelled to Berwick reluctantly, Lockhart was returned almost without opposition.3
Apart from his professed support of the Grenville ministry in 1806, Lockhart subsequently voted only with government. In January 1808 he informed Lord Melville of his intention to remain for a time in Scotland after the opening of the session, and in October 1809 requested a surveyorship of taxes for his brother Norman.4 In 1810 the Whigs listed him as ‘against the Opposition’. He voted with ministers on the Scheldt expedition, 26 Jan. and 23 Feb. 1810, and was absent but favourable to them on 30 Mar. He opposed the release of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr. 1810, and on 21 May voted against parliamentary reform. He also opposed sinecure reform, 4 May 1812. There is no record of his having spoken and his attendance was probably restricted by ill-health. On 19 Jan. 1811 James Graham of Berwick informed Samuel Whitbread that Lockhart had been ‘for some time in a very dangerous state of health’.5 He did not contest Berwick in 1812.
He died 22 June 1816, aged 40, from injuries received in a carriage accident.6
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: J. M. Collinge
- 1. Gent. Mag. (1816), ii. 185.
- 2. Blair Adam mss, Lauderdale to Adam, 10 Dec. 1805; Fortescue mss, Douglas to Grenville, 9 Nov., enc. Lockhart to Douglas, 6 Nov., Grenville to Douglas, 10 Nov.; Grey mss, Lockhart to Howick, 10 Nov. 1806.
- 3. Grey mss, Tower to Grey, 18 May; Edinburgh Evening Courant, 9 May 1807.
- 4. SRO GD51/1/129; 51/5/364/16.
- 5. Whitbread mss W1/1890.
- 6. Gent. Mag. (1816), ii. 185.