Sir James Montgomery, 2nd Baronet

Sir James Montgomery, 2nd Baronet Stanhope FRSE (9 October 1766 – 27 May 1839) was a Scottish peer, politician and lawyer who served as Lord Advocate of Scotland 1804 to 1806.

Stobo Castle, Scottish Borders


James Montgomery was born in Peebleshire on 9 October 1766, the son of Sir James Montgomery, 1st Baronet Stanhope and Margaret Scott. The family moved to Stobo Castle when he was an infant. He was educated at the High School in Edinburgh from 1773 to 1778. He trained as an advocate passing the bar in 1787. He worked as an advocate at Argyll Square in Edinburgh through the 1790s.[1]

He succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1803. He immediately set about remodelling Stobo Castle, commissioning the Edinburgh architect Archibald Elliot to rebuild it in a castellated style. The very large project was completed in 1811 and brought the castle to its current appearance.[2]

In 1810 he inherited £20,000 on the death of the family friend, William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensberry, who had died childless. This was a true fortune at that time.[3]

From 1817 he served as Deputy Governor of the British Linen Company Bank.[4]

He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Peeblesshire between 1800 and 1831. His maiden speech as an MP was on the prevention of forgery of bank-notes.[5] In 1807 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir James Hall, Alexander Dirom, and Thomas Charles Hope.[6]

In later life he had a town house at 20 York Place, Edinburgh.[7]

He died on 27 May 1839 aged 72.


He married, firstly, Lady Elizabeth Douglas (d.1814), daughter of Dunbar Douglas, 4th Earl of Selkirk[8] and Helen Hamilton, on 1 August 1804. His brother-in-law during this marriage was Basil William Douglas.[9] They had two daughters and one son:

  • Helen Anne Montgomery (d. 1870) married William Forbes Mackenzie MP. They had two children.
  • Elizabeth Montgomery (d. 15 Sep 1874)
  • James Montgomery (28 Apr 1811 - 16 July 1833)

He married, secondly, Helen Graham (d.1828), daughter of Thomas Graham MP of Kinross House, in 1816. They had two daughters and three sons:[10]

Artistic RecognitionEdit

Montgomery was sketched in pastels by Richard Cosway.[11]


  1. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1797
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  6. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.
  7. ^ Edinburgh Post Office directory 1839
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External linksEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Montgomery his elder brother
Member of Parliament for Peeblesshire
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Peeblesshire
Succeeded by
Sir George Montgomery, 2nd Bt
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles Hope, Lord Granton
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
The Hon. Henry Erskine
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Montgomery
(of Stanhope)
Succeeded by
Graham Graham-Montgomery