Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto PC (23 April 1751 – 21 June 1814), known as Sir Gilbert Elliott between 1777 and 1797 and as The Lord Minto between 1797 and 1813, was a Scottish politician diplomat. 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.
Background and education
Minto was born in Edinburgh, the eldest son of Sir Gilbert Elliot, 3rd Baronet, and Agnes, daughter of Hugh Dalrymple-Murray-Kynynmound. He was the nephew of John Elliott, Governor of Newfoundland, Andrew Elliot 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.
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 on two occasions was an unsuccessful candidate for the office of Speaker. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1793 and in 1794 he was appointed as viceroy of the short-lived Anglo-Corsican Kingdom. 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. The district of Minto in New South Wales, Australia, 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 married Anna Maria, daughter of Sir George Amyand, 1st Baronet, in 1777. Their second son was the naval commander Admiral the Hon. Sir George Elliot while their third son the Hon. John Elliot was a politician. Lord Minto died at Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on 21 June 1814, aged 63, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son, Gilbert. Lady Minto died in March 1829.
- Harrington, Jack (2010), Sir John Malcolm and the Creation of British India, Chs. 1–3, New York: Palgrave Macmillan., ISBN 978-0-230-10885-1
- 12px This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Minto, earls of". Encyclopædia Britannica 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 563.
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- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Minto
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