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George Baillie, painted by William Aikman in 1717
Mellerstain House

George Baillie (16 March 1664 – 6 August 1738) was a Scottish politician who sat in the Parliament of Scotland from 1691 to 1707 and in the British House of Commons from 1708 to 1734.

George Baillie was the son of the Scottish Covenanter Robert Baillie of Jerviswood, who was implicated in the 1683 Rye House Plot against King Charles II. When his father was imprisoned for treason in 1684, George fled Scotland for Holland with Sir Patrick Hume.[1] In Holland he served in the horse guards of William of Orange, and returned to Britain with William in the Revolution of 1688.[2]

Baillie was elected as Shire Commissioner of the Parliament of Scotland, representing Berwick from 1693 to 1698 and 1700 to 1701, and then Lanark from 1703 to 1707. He was a leading member of the Squadrone Volante, a group of members who were influential in the debates which led to the union with England in 1707.[2]

After the Union, Baillie attended the Parliament of Great Britain as Member of Parliament for Berwickshire for 26 years. In 1711, he was appointed Commissioner for Trade and Plantations by Queen Anne and in 1714 King George I appointed him one of the Lords of Admiralty.[3] In 1717 he was elevated to Lord of Treasury as a junior Lord Commissioner of the Treasury until 1725. He stepped down as an MP at the 1734 British general election, and died at Oxford in 1738.[1] He was buried on his estate of Mellerstain in Berwickshire, where he had commenced the building of the mansion by commissioning William Adam to build the east and west wings.[2]

In 1691 he had married Sir Patrick Hume's daughter, the songwriter and poet Lady Grizell Hume, and they had three children; Grisell (1692), who married British army officer Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope, Robert (1694), who died in infancy and Rachel (1696), who married Charles Hamilton, Lord Binning, son of the Earl of Haddington. Rachel's elder son Thomas inherited the earldom. [2] Mellerstain passed to Rachel's younger son George, who completed the house by erecting a central block between the wings constructed by his grandfather. Mellerstain remains to this day the principal seat of the Earl of Haddington.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "BAILLIE, George (1664-1738), of Jerviswood, Lanark". History of Parliament Online (1715-1754). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Murison, Barbara C. (2004). "Baillie, George, of Jerviswood (1664–1738)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/64094. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  3. ^ "BAILLIE, George (1664-1738), of Jerviswood, Lanark. and Mellerstain, Berwicks". History of Parliament Online (1690-1715). Retrieved 22 April 2019.
Parliament of Scotland
Preceded by
Sir Archibald Cockburn
Sir Patrick Hume
Sir John Home
John Swinton
Shire Commissioner for Berwick
1691–1702
With: Sir Archibald Cockburn
Sir John Home
Sir John Swinton
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Sinclair
Sir John Home
Sir John Swinton
Sir Patrick Home
Preceded by
William Baillie
Sir William Denham
James Hamilton
Sir William Stewart
Shire Commissioner for Lanark
1702–1707
With: William Baillie
John Sinclair
James Hamilton
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
New constituency Member of Parliament for Berwickshire
1708–1734
Succeeded by
Alexander Hume-Campbell