Cochrane-Baillie, Alexander Dundas Ross Wishart (DNB01)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

COCHRANE-BAILLIE, ALEXANDER DUNDAS ROSS WISHART, first Baron Lamington (1816–1890), politician and author, was eldest son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane [q. v.] and Matilda, daughter of Lieutenant-general Sir Charles Ross, seventh baronet of Balnagowan, by his first wife (daughter and heiress of General Count James Lockhart of Carnwath). Lady Cochrane, Cochrane-Baillie's mother, was heiress of the lands of Old Listen in the county of Edinburgh. Her father's mother, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Dundas (1713–1787) [q. v.] of Arniston, by Henrietta Baillie, daughter and heiress of Sir James Carmichael of Bonnington, inherited, in addition to the lands of Bonnington in Lanarkshire, the estate of Lamington in the same county as heiress of her grandmother, Margaret Baillie of Lamington, wife of Sir James Carmichael. Lady Cochrane's father (Sir Charles Ross) left no male heir by his first wife; on his death in 1814 he was succeeded in the baronetcy by Charles (then a boy of two), son of his second marriage with Lady Mary Fitzgerald, and thus Lady Cochrane's half-brother.

When the boy's grandmother, Lady Ross-Baillie, died in 1817, the estates of Lamington and Balnagowan were placed under trust till he should attain his majority in 1833, and exercise his choice of succeeding to the possession of the lands of Balnagowan in the county of Ross or Lamington in the county of Lanark. He chose Balnagowan, on which the lands of Lamington devolved on the son of Lady Cochrane, his half-sister, the subject of this memoir.

Born on 27 Nov. 1816, Baillie-Cochrane, as the name was then written, was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1837). He sat as conservative member for Bridport from 1841 to 1852, when he was defeated in a contest for Southampton. He was one of the most active members of the 'Young England' party in the House of Commons, whereof Disraeli was the chief and Lord John Manners (now Duke of Rutland) the vates sacer, and he is said to have been the original of Buckhurst in 'Coningsby' (Life of H. C. Childers, i. 158). In 1857 he was returned for Lanarkshire, and from 1859 to 1868 he sat for Honiton. In the autumn of 1868 he was offered the governorship of Cape Colony, but Disraeli's administration fell before the appointment was completed. In 1870 he was returned for the Isle of Wight, which he continued to represent till 1880, when he was raised to the peerage as first baron Lamington. He died at 26 Wilton Crescent, London, on 15 Feb. 1890. In 1844 he married Annabella Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Drummond of Cadlands, Hampshire. He was succeeded in his honours and lands by his only son, Charles Wallace Alexander Napier, second baron Lamington, who was appointed governor of Queensland in 1895. There are portraits of Lord Lamington at Lamington by De Bœuf and Sir Francis Grant in oils, and by Swinton and Count d'Orsay in crayon.

Baillie-Cochrane was for many years an exceedingly well-known character in London society. He spent much time and money in the improvement of his estate of Lamington. He was much given to literary studies, and delighted in the society of men of letters, whom he used to welcome freely at his table. He was one of the joint editors of and chief writers in the lively satirical journal called 'The Owl,' which was published weekly from 1864 to 1868.

His other published works are as follows: 1. 'Poems,' privately printed, 1838. 2. 'Meditations of other Days,' 1841. 3. 'The Morea, a Poem, with Remarks on Greece,' 1842. 4. 'Lucille Belmont,' a novel, 2 vols. 1849. 5. 'Ernest Vane,' a novel, 2 vols. 1849. 6. 'Florence the Beautiful,' a novel, 2 vols. 1854. 7. 'Justice to Scotland,' 1854. 8. 'Historic Pictures,' 2 vols. 1860. 9. 'A Young Artist's Life' (under the pseudonym of Leonard Holme), 1864. 10. 'Francis the First, and other Historic Studies,' 1869. 11. 'The Théâtre Français in the Reign of Louis XV,' a novel, made out of materials collected for a history of the Théâtre Français, 1870. 12. 'Historic Chateaux—Blois, Fontainebleau, Vincennes,' 1876. Lord Lamington was also the author of numerous anonymous contributions to periodicals. A series of reminiscences called 'The Days of the Dandies' was running in 'Blackwood's Magazine' at the time of his death, and was subsequently published separately in pamphlet form (Edinburgh, 1890).

[Lamington, Past and Present, by Mrs. Ware Scott; Burke's Peerage; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage; Tablettes Biographiques des Hommes du Temps; Allibone's Dict. of English Lit.; Boase's Modern Brit. Biogr.; Times, 17 and 25 Feb. 1890; private information.]

H. E. M.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.293
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
37 ii 11f.e. Cochrane-Baillie, Alexander D. R. W., 1st Baron Lamington: for In 1857 read At a by-election in Jan. 1857
10f.e. for and from read and was rejected at the general election in April. From