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James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale

(1759-1839), Scottish politician and author of 'Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Public Wealth'

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter associated with 37 portraits
Entered the House of Commons as an MP in 1780. He supported Charles Fox, then in opposition. In 1790, he was elected as a Scottish representative peer and was raised to the House of Lords, where he was an opponent of the policy of Pitt and the government with regard to France. In 1806, he was created Baron Lauderdale of Thirlestane. At this time, as a member of the Privy Council, he tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a peace treaty with France. He wrote Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Public Wealth (1804), in which he put forward arguments similar to those of Adam Smith. Lauderdale was the great-grandfather of Arthur Balfour, prime minister of Great Britain.

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