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The Rise of the Elliots of Minto

A Scottish Family's Life in the Eighteenth Century

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Author: John P. Evans

The Rise of the Elliots of Minto begins as battles between Scottish clans and reivers across the English–Scottish border continue. A Gilbert Elliot is helping a Campbell, the earl of Argyll, escape the clutches of the law. Soon afterwards, as a member of the Scottish Parliament, he prospers both socially and financially. Being made a baronet, he retires following the Treaty of Union, dying in 1718.

A chronological account of the happenings of six generations of Elliots in the eighteenth century, and a dramatis personae of well over 100, completes the author’s trilogy about the family commenced in 2011. Inheritance of the estate in Roxburghshire in the Borders by the second baronet is accompanied by his being made a judge, and by the expansion of his interests in music and rural affairs. Two of three successful marriages among his offspring were then to greatly influence the family’s ascendancy from the gentry to the lower ranks of the aristocracy. Key to this was the eventual third baronet who became a politician and a literary patron, and his elder sister Eleanor who was to live the first part of her married life in America. Between them they had at least seventeen children, including an admiral, an army captain, the governor of New York, and a woman poet. A third union between the fourth baronet’s sister and William Eden, who was a friend of Pitt the Younger, government minister and diplomat at the time of the American War of Independence, cemented the family’s association with the Eden family.

Although a social history of the family and several biographies or essays about two or three senior Elliots exist, little has been revealed till now about the fascinating lives of its younger members or the family in the round. The Rise of the Elliots of Minto provides a warm and perceptive glimpse into the life of a far-from-rich aristocratic family, as well as a picture of what the populace at large endured. The lid is lifted a little further on both the conventional and non-conventional in eighteenth-century society, where adventure and death were partners.

Book ISBN 9781445668741

Book Format Hardback

pages 384 pages

Publication Date 15 Mar 2017

Height 234

Width 156

Illustrations 70

Regular Price: £25.00

Special Price: £18.75

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This volume gives us far more than has been known heretofore about a family’s contribution to the British political and mercantile scene in the eighteenth century.Review by Dr J. Macleod, University of Hull
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In The Rise of the Elliots of Minto, John Evans has given us an account in great depth of the careers, marriages and other relationships of a powerful Scottish Border family. After the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, the political power centred on London gave opportunities for public service at many levels at home and abroad. The Elliot family produced judges, merchants, MPs, soldiers and sailors, and Evans draws our attention to the women of the family as well. His use of letters and diaries brings us as close as possible to their everyday life, especially in their times abroad. This volume gives us far more than has been known heretofore about a family’s contribution to the British political and mercantile scene in the eighteenth century. (Posted on 06/06/2017)

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