"under the influence of the Earls of Seafield and Tullibardine, he was returned for a Member of Parliament in the famous session that sat at Edinburgh, when the Duke of Queensberry was commissioner"


James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, as commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland, was at this time embroiled in the controversy surrounding the potential unification of England and Scotland. Though the session of 1703 referred to here failed to reach an agreement, in 1707 Queensberry procured the signing of the Treaty of Union which was to unite the two countries into the single kingdom of Great Britain. England’s motivation resided in the desire to ensure that royal succession took place along Protestant lines and to forestall the possibility of an independent Scottish monarch forming alliances against her. The Scottish, meanwhile, hoped to access English subsidies in order to recover from the debt they were in and to remove English trade sanctions. With the blending of religious and political motivations, the issue caused temperatures to run high amongst the populace.

Articles on Union
Public DomainArticles on Union - Credit: Parliament of England
The Earl of Seafield was James Ogilvy, a Scottish politician. During 1707, he as an active promoter of the Act of Union but would later change his views. By contrast, the Earl of Tullibardine, John Murray, was vehemently opposed to the Union and had plotted to take Stirling Castle siege against the crown until financial compensation persuaded him out of his plans. Both, therefore, are associated with political hypocrisy.