ELIOTT LOCKHART, William (1764-1832), of Borthwickbrae, Roxburgh

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



1806 - 1830

Family and Education

b. 30 Nov. 1764, 1st s. of John Eliott of Borthwickbrae and 2nd w. Margaret, da. and h. of Walter Laing. adv. 1786. m. 5 Mar. 1792, Marianne, da. and h. of Allan Lockhart of Cleghorn, Lanark, 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da. Took additional name of Lockhart on d. of fa.-in-law 1805. d. 6 Aug. 1832.

Offices Held

Lt. and capt. Roxburgh and Selkirk fencibles 1794, lt.-col. 1795-1801; maj. R. Lanark militia 1801; maj. commdt. Roxburgh yeoman cav. 1802, lt.-col. 1821-8.


Eliott Lockhart, whose eldest son John, a cornet in the 12th Dragoons, was killed at Waterloo, lost his youngest son Gilbert, at the age of 15, in 1825. By then he was in his fifth consecutive Parliament as the thoroughly undistinguished Member for Selkirkshire, where he sat on the interest of the 5th duke of Buccleuch.1 At the general election of 1820 he was ‘most busy in stirring rebellion in the camp of the enemy’ in Haddington Burghs, where his influence in Jedburgh was reported to have helped to get the other burghs to ‘throw off the fetters of Lord Lauderdale’; in the event his favoured candidate was beaten.2 He continued, when present, to give general though not slavish support to Lord Liverpool’s administration.3 On 4 May 1820 he notified Lord Melville, their Scottish manager, that he would be unable to attend the House ‘for a fortnight’ as he was going to Orleans with two of his surviving sons, who were ‘to remain there for some months’.4 He divided in defence of ministers’ conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb., and with them on the state of the revenue, 6 Mar., and the ordnance estimates, 11, 12 Apr.; but on 31 May 1821 he was in Hume’s minority for a reduction of ordnance salaries. He did not vote on the Catholic question, 28 Feb. 1821, but he divided for relief, 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He was given periods of leave to attend to urgent private business, 21 May 1821, on account of ill health, 16 Apr. 1822, and because of illness in his family, 15 Feb. 1825. He voted for inquiry into the Scottish royal burghs, 20 Feb., and with Hume for returns of naval pay, 22 Feb. 1822. He sided with ministers against abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar., but voted in the hostile majority on this, 2 May. He was in Lord Althorp’s minority of 24 for a permanent 18s. bounty on wheat exports, 9 May 1822. He voted with government against repeal of the assessed taxes, 10, 18 Mar., the production of information on the Dublin Orange theatre riot, 24 Mar. 1823, in defence of the prosecution of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara, 11 June, for the Irish insurrection bill, 14 June 1824, for the president of the board of trade’s salary, 10 Apr., and against reform of Edinburgh’s representation, 13 Apr. 1826. He is not known to have spoken in debate, but he presented constituency petitions for repeal of the duty on notaries’ licences, 31 Mar. 1824, and against interference with the Scottish banking system, 16 Mar. 1826.5 At the April 1826 by-election for Roxburghshire he supported Buccleuch’s successful candidate Henry Hepburne Scott, but his ‘reckless piece of activity’ in moving the writ put paid to hopes of postponing the business until the approaching general election in order to avoid Hepburne Scott’s ‘paying his fees twice over’ in a short space of time.6 He appears to have been largely absent from the 1826 Parliament, though he was named to the committees on the Scottish entails bill, 11 Mar., and the Scottish alehouses bill, 12 May 1828, and was added to the select committee on Scottish entails, 10 Mar. 1829. He divided for Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, but not in 1828 or 1829 when, having been listed as likely to vote with the Wellington ministry for emancipation, he defaulted on a call of the House, 5 Mar. It is not clear whether it was he or John Ingram Lockhart who voted for the duke of Clarence’s annuity, 16 Mar. 1827; but it was almost certainly the latter who divided against inquiry into chancery delays, 24 Apr. 1828. Eliott Lockhart presented a Selkirkshire agriculturists’ petition for enhanced protection against foreign wool imports, 5 June 1828. He had planned to postpone his retirement from Parliament, which his declining health made desirable, until Buccleuch’s brother Lord John Scott† came of age in July 1830. In the event, Scott had no intention to enter Parliament at that juncture, and with Buccleuch’s blessing Eliott Lockhart stood down at the 1830 dissolution.7 In March 1831 he helped to draft the Selkirkshire freeholders’ petition protesting against the merger of the county with Selkirkshire proposed in the Grey ministry’s first reform scheme.8 He died in August 1832 and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Allan Eliott Lockhart (1803-78), Peelite Conservative Member for Selkirkshire, 1846-61.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Caledonian Mercury, 25 Mar. 1820, 10, 15 June 1826.
  • 2. NLS mss 11, f. 28.
  • 3. Black Bk. (1823), 171; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 473.
  • 4. NAS GD51/1/190.
  • 5. The Times, 1 Apr. 1824, 17 Mar. 1826.
  • 6. NAS GD157/2294/6; 2968/5.
  • 7. NAS GD224/581/4, Eliott Lockhart to Buccleuch, 11 Mar., Buccleuch to J.Johnstone, 4 June, Lord Montagu to Eliott Lockhart, 4 June; Pringle mss box 16, Eliott Lockhart to J. Pringle, 13 June 1830.
  • 8. Scott Jnl. 637.