Hogg, James Weir (DNB00)

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HOGG, Sir JAMES WEIR (1790–1876), East India director, elder son of William Hogg of Belmont, co. Antrim, by Mary, daughter of James Dickey of Dunmore in that county, was born at Stoneyford, near Lisburn, on 7 Sept. 1790. He received his early education at Dr. Bruce's academy, Belfast, and was elected a scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1808. There he gained the gold medal for oratory, among the unsuccessful competitors being Richard Lalor Sheil, and graduated B.A. in the spring of 1810 (Todd, Dublin Graduates, p. 278). On 20 May 1811 he was admitted a student of Gray's Inn, London, ‘for the Irish bar,’ to which he is said to have been called, though no record of the fact is now to be found in the books of the King's Inns. He sailed for Calcutta, where his family had influence, in 1814, and practised at the bar there for eight years, obtaining an unprecedentedly large and lucrative business. In 1822 his health showed signs of failure owing to overwork, and he accepted the valuable office of registrar of the supreme court of Calcutta, a post which he held until 1833, when he returned to England with a large fortune (Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, 3rd ser. cxxxix. 1999). At the general election in January 1835 he was returned at the head of the poll for Beverley as a conservative and steadfast supporter of Sir Robert Peel, to whose fortunes he closely adhered throughout. He continued to represent Beverley till the dissolution in July 1847. Though he took no prominent part in the debates of the house except upon Indian matters, he seconded the motion (7 May 1841) on the sugar duties, which led to the defeat of the government (ib. lviii. 53). On 11 Sept. 1839 he was elected a director of the East India Company (Asiatic Journal, new ser. xxx. 166), and from that time forward was practically the representative of Leadenhall Street in the House of Commons. He was elected deputy-chairman of the company for 1845–6, 1850–1, and 1851–2, and chairman for 1846–7 and 1852–3 (Prinsep, Madras Civilians, pp. xiii, xxii). In April 1844 W. B. Ferrand's accusation against Hogg and Sir J. Graham of corruption in connection with the Nottingham election petition was declared to be ‘wholly unfounded and calumnious’ (House of Commons' Journals, 1844, p. 239). Hogg, who supported Peel in his free-trade policy, declined, towards the close of 1845, the post of judge advocate-general upon the resignation of Dr. John Nicholl, on the ground that he held the office of deputy-chairman of the East India Company (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser., cxxix. 79). Upon the downfall of the ministry he was created a baronet (20 July 1846). At the general election in July 1847 he was returned unopposed for Honiton, which he continued to represent until the dissolution in March 1857. In his capacity as the recognised representative of the India House, Hogg was frequently attacked by Sir Charles Napier, John Bright, and others, who disapproved of the policy of the directors. A violent attack on him by Napier with reference to the Scinde prize money appeared in the ‘Times,’ 21–8 Oct. 1848. Hogg was offered, but declined, the post of governor of Bombay in succession to Lord Falkland in 1853. He voted against the government on the motion censuring Palmerston's Chinese policy, 3 March 1857 (ib. cxliv. 1847), and at the general election in the same month lost his seat by two votes. He made no attempt to re-enter parliament, but upon the passing of the Government of India Act he was nominated by the East India board as one of the seven directors to sit on the new Indian council (September 1858). He continued a member of the Indian council (acting as vice-president in 1860) till the beginning of 1872, when he retired, and was sworn a member of the privy council, 5 Feb. 1872. He died of paralysis at his residence, 11 Grosvenor Crescent, London, 27 May 1876, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.

Hogg married, 26 July 1822, Mary Claudina, second daughter of Samuel Swinton, B.C.S., of Swinton, Berwickshire, by whom he had seven sons and seven daughters. His wife died 26 June 1874. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son, Lieutenant-colonel Sir James Macnaghten McGarel Hogg, afterwards first lord Magheramorne [q. v.] Hogg published his ‘Addresses … to the Students at the East-India College at Haileybury, and to the Cadets at the Military Seminary at Addiscombe, on the Closing of the Half-yearly Terms, 1846’ [London, 1846], 8vo.

[Annual Register, 1876, p. 142; Times, 29 May 1876; Law Times, lxi. 93; Solicitors' Journal, xx. 629; Illustrated London News, 3 June 1876; Sir William Napier's Life of Sir Charles Napier, 1857, ii. 374, iv. 107, 116–17, 147–8, 186, 246, 293, 345; Men of the Time (8th ed.), p. 497; Dod's Peerage, &c., 1876, pp. 373–4; Foster's Baronetage, 1881, p. 320; Official Return of Lists of Members of Parliament, pt. ii. pp. 358, 372, 390, 399, 414; Notes and Queries, 7th ser., ix. 287, 398; London Gazettes.]

G. F. R. B.