Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.
James Graham 4th Duke of Montrose
16 July 1799 – 30 December 1874
James Graham 4th Duke of Montrose was the son of James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose, by his second wife Lady Caroline Marie, daughter of George Montagu, 4th Duke of Manchester. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.
A member of Marylebone Cricket Club, Montrose made a single first-class appearance for an All-England team against Hampshire in 1828. He was recorded in the scorecard as Lord James Graham and scored two runs.
In 1821, aged 21, Montrose was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, despite not having a seat in parliament, and was sworn of the Privy Council the same year. He remained as Vice-Chamberlain until 1827. He was returned to Parliament for Cambridge in 1825, a seat he held until 1832, and served as a Commissioner of the India Board between 1828 and 1830. In 1836 he succeeded his father in the dukedom and entered the House of Lords.
When the Earl of Derby became Prime Minister in February 1852, Montrose was appointed Lord Steward of the Household, a post he retained until the government fell in December of the same year. He again served under Derby as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1858 and 1859 and under Derby and later Benjamin Disraeli as Postmaster General between 1866 and 1868, although he was never a member of the cabinet. As Postmaster-General he introduced the Electric Telegraphs Bill which resulted in the transfer of British telegraph companies to the Post Office.
Apart from his political career Montrose served as Chancellor of the University of Glasgow between 1837 and 1874 (succeeding his father) and as Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire between 1843 and 1874. He was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1845.
Montrose married the Hon. Caroline Agnes, daughter of John Horsley-Beresford, 2nd Baron Decies, in 1836. They had several children. He died in December 1874, aged 75, and was succeeded in the dukedom by his son, Douglas, Marquess of Graham. The Duchess of Montrose later remarried and died in November 1894.