General Sir James Duff

1753 - 5th Dec 1839

Claimant or beneficiary


Army officer.
Born Keith, Aberdeenshire. Eldest illegitimate son of James Duff, second Earl Fife (1729–1809), and Margaret Adam, of Keith. His mother, ‘of humble status’, had 3 children with Fife. They were put with William Rose, Fife's factor. “Fife paid for James’s education, army promotions, and for his small Aberdeenshire estate of Kinstair, and made him his constant companion.”

Commissioned into the army, April 1769. Rose to become General (1809). The most notable, arguably notorious, moment of his army career was his role in crushing the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

Knighted April 1779.

Married Basilia (?-1849), daughter and heir of James Dawes [II] of Rockspring, Jamaica, 12 August 1785. "Marriage brought him financial independence and a sugar plantation."

MP for Banffshire (dominated by the Duff family electoral influence) 1784-1788.

Died at home, Funtington House, near Chichester, Sussex; buried Funtington parish churchyard.


H. M. Stephens, ‘Duff, Sir James (1753–1839)’, rev. Stephen Wood, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Sir James Duff
Basilia Dawes
3 daughters, 1 son
Keith Academy
King's College, Aberdeen [MA 1771 ]
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (1)

£4,101 0s 1d
Awardee (Trustee)

Associated Estates (1)

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
1832 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

election →
Banffshire Banffshire
1784 - 1788

Relationships (1)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (2)

Kinstair, Aberdeen, North-east Scotland, Scotland
Funtington House, Funtington, Chichester, Sussex, South-east England, England