Robert Gordon MP

1st Jan 1786 - 16th May 1864

Claimant or beneficiary


Absentee slave-owner in Jamaica. The compensation for the enslaved people on his estates was paid to the Hibberts as mortgagees. MP for Wareham (1812-1818), Cricklade (1818-1837) and New Windsor (1837-1841). Cousin of Robert William Gordon (q.v.).

  1. Will of Robert Gordon late of Leweston in the County of Dorset and of Hill Street Berkeley Square who died 16/05/1864 at 32 Hill Street proved 06/07/1864 by Anna Gordon of 32 Hill Street spinster the daughter and Michael Biddulph of 43 Charing Cross the executors, effects under £14,000.

  2. Date of birth approximate. Eldest son of William Gordon, planter, of Auchendolly, Kirkcudbright and Anna, daughter of Stephen Nash of Bristol. Grandfather and father successful West India merchants who owned the Paisley and Windsor Lodge estates in Jamaica. Probably followed them into the business; possibly attended meetings of the West India Committee. Generally advocated lower duties on West India sugar; defended slave-owning. Owned considerable property in Gloucestershire. Became freeman of Gloucester, 1813 and local gentleman and magistrate. Although a Whig generally (esp. in opposition to Ld. Liverpool) also exhibited some independence, especially on matters of reducing government expenditure and wanting lower taxation. Defender of West India planter interests throughout his time in the Commons. Said that children in cotton mills required protection just as much as West India slaves. (31 May 1825). Like Canning believed that the impetus for the abolition of slavery should come from colonial assemblies and not from Parliament. (1 March 1826). Voted for Catholic Emancipation, 1828-1829. In favour of factory regulation, 1829. Active and leading advocate of West India Committee interests in delegation to Wellington, January 1830, and in June 1830 pleading with Ministers to relieve the distress of West India merchants (30 June 1830); and again in, e.g. March 1832. Pro-Parliamentary Reform.

  3. Macaulay wrote of him, when Gordon was appointed to the India Board of Control (on a salary of £1,200) and proceeded to sow discord: 'Gordon, ... a fat, ugly, spiteful, snarling, sneering, old rascal of a slave-driver' and that he regarded him as 'the creature of the [East India Company] directors, a friend of Chinese monopoly, a friend to the existing system of patronage'.


T71/873 St James claim nos. 184 (Paisley Estate) and 169 (Windsor Lodge).

  1. National Probate Calendar 1864.

  2. D. R. Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons 1820-1832 (7 vols., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the History of Parliament Trust, 2009), Vol. 5, pp. 312-19.

  3. Macaulay to his sisters, Macaulay Letters, II, pp. 139-40; Fisher, op.cit. p. 319.

Further Information

Elizabeth Anne Coxe (m. 11 July 1809); [his cousin]
Anna (1809-1884)
Eton [1799 ]
Christ's Church, Oxford [1804 ]
Legal Education
Lincoln's Inn [1803 ]

Associated Claims (2)

£6,252 12s 0d
Unsuccessful claimant (Owner-in-fee)
£3,135 18s 2d
Unsuccessful claimant (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1825 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Not known
1825 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner
1825 [EA] - 1831 [LA] → Not known

Legacies Summary

Imperial (1)

East India Company
notes →
Macaulay wrote of him, when Gordon was appointed to the India Board of Control (on a salary of £1,200) and proceeded to sow discord: 'Gordon, ... a fat, ugly, spiteful, snarling, sneering, old...

Political (3)

office →
Commissioner of the Board of Control
1832 - 1834
office →
Secretary to the Board of Control
1835 - 1839
Whig-Liberal / West India interest 
election →
Wareham Dorset
1812 - 1818
election →
Cricklade Wiltshire
1818 - 1837
election →
Windsor Berkshire
1837 - 1841

Relationships (3)

First Cousins
Son → Father
Grandson → Grandfather

Addresses (2)

Leweston, Dorset, Wessex, England
32 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, London, Middlesex, London, England