Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto

Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto, PC, FRSE (23 April 1751 – 21 June 1814), known as Sir Gilbert Elliott until 1797, was a Scottish diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1776 and 1795. He was viceroy of the short-lived Anglo-Corsican Kingdom from 1793 to 1796 and went on to become Governor-General of India between 1807 and 1813.

The Earl of Minto

Gilbert Eliot, 1st Earl of Minto by James Atkinson.jpg
Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William
In office
31 July 1807 – 4 October 1813
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded bySir George Barlow
(Acting Governor-General)
Succeeded byThe Earl of Moira
President of the Board of Control
In office
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded byViscount Castlereagh
Succeeded byThomas Grenville
Viceroy of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom
In office
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded byNew Office
Succeeded byBritish Withdrawal
Personal details
Gilbert Elliot

(1751-04-23)23 April 1751
Died21 June 1814(1814-06-21) (aged 63)
Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Anna Maria Amyand
(m. 1777)
Alma mater

Background and educationEdit

Minto was born in Edinburgh, the eldest son of Sir Gilbert Elliot, 3rd Baronet, and Agnes, daughter of Hugh Dalrymple-Murray-Kynynmound.[1] He was the nephew of John Elliott, Governor of Newfoundland, Andrew Elliot the 41st Colonial Governor of New York, and of Jean Elliot the poet.

Hugh Elliot was his younger brother and Sir Charles Elliot his nephew. About 1763 Elliot and his brother Hugh were sent to Paris, where their studies were supervised by the Scottish philosopher David Hume, and where they became intimate with Honoré Mirabeau. Having passed the winters of 1766 and 1767 at the University of Edinburgh, Minto entered Christ Church, Oxford, and on quitting the university he was called to the Bar.[2][1]


In 1776 Minto entered Parliament as an independent Whig MP for Morpeth. He became very friendly with Edmund Burke, whom he helped in the attack on Warren Hastings and Sir Elijah Impey, and was twice an unsuccessful candidate for the office of Speaker,[2] in the elections of January 1789 and June 1789.

In 1793 he was appointed Civil Commissioner for Dunkirk which was then under Siege of Dunkirk (1793) by Coalition forces. However, the siege proved unsuccessful and the appointment perforce remained only on paper. Later he was given a similar appointment for Toulon, which proved similarly abortive [3].

He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1793 and in 1794 he was appointed as viceroy of the short-lived Anglo-Corsican Kingdom.[citation needed] In 1797 he assumed the additional names of Murray-Kynynmound and was created Baron Minto, of Minto in the County of Roxburgh. From 1799 to 1801 he was Envoy-Extraordinary to Austria, and having been for a few months President of the Board of Control he was appointed Governor-General of India at the end of 1806.[2] The district of Minto in New South Wales, Australia, (now a suburb of Sydney) was named after him in 1809. In 1810 he successfully requested the release of the British navigator, Matthew Flinders, from his six-year imprisonment on Isle of France (Mauritius). He governed until 1813, during which he expanded the British presence in the area to the Moluccas, Java, and other Dutch possessions in the East Indies during the Napoleonic Wars. He was then created Viscount Melgund, of Melgund in the County of Forfar, and Earl of Minto, of Minto in the County of Roxburgh.


Lord Minto died at Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on 21 June 1814, aged 63, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.[4] He had married Anna Maria Amyand, daughter of Sir George Amyand, 1st Baronet, in 1777.[1] He was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son, Gilbert. Lady Minto died in March 1829.

Their children were:

  • Anna Maria (d. 18 Oct. 1855) married Lt.-Gen. Sir Rufane Shawe Donkin. No issue.
  • Harry Mary Frances (d. July 1825). Died young.
  • Gilbert, 2nd Earl Minto
  • Admiral the Hon. Sir George Elliot
  • Hon. John Elliot was a politician.
  • Catherine Sarah (circa 1798-25 June 1862), who married John Boileau, 1st Baronet. Had issue.


  1. ^ a b c Thorne, R.G., "Elliot Murray Kynynmound, Sir Gilbert, 4th Bt. (1751-1814), of Minto, Roxburgh.", The History of Parliament
  2. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911, p. 563.
  3. ^ Mount, Ferdinand (2015). The Tears of the Rajas: Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905. Simon & Schuster. p. 108.
  4. ^ "Gilbert and Hugh Elliot". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 15 July 2014.

Further readingEdit


External linksEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Peter Delmé
Hon. William Byron
Member of Parliament for Morpeth
With: Peter Delme
Succeeded by
Peter Delmé
John Egerton
Preceded by
Sir Gilbert Elliot
Member of Parliament for Roxburghshire
Succeeded by
Sir George Douglas
Preceded by
John Vaughan
John Delaval
Member of Parliament for Berwick
With: John Vaughan
Succeeded by
John Vaughan
Charles Carpenter
Preceded by
Roger Wilbraham
James Bland Burges
Member of Parliament for Helston
With: Stephen Lushington
Succeeded by
Stephen Lushington
Charles Abbot
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Morton Eden
British Minister to Austria
Succeeded by
Arthur Paget
Government offices
New office Viceroy of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom
British withdrawal
Preceded by
Viscount Castlereagh
President of the Board of Control
Succeeded by
Thomas Grenville
Preceded by
Sir George Barlow (acting)
Governor-General of India
Succeeded by
The Earl of Moira
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Minto
Succeeded by
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound
New creation Viscount Melgund
Succeeded by
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound
New creation Earl of Minto
Succeeded by
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
Gilbert Elliot
(of Minto)
Succeeded by
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound