Clan Elliot People

Jean Elliot (1727-1805)
Writer of the poem “The Flowers of the Forest” and thought to be the last owner of a sedan chair in Edinburgh. When her most famous poem was published, she declined to have her name given to it. Both Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott made its authors name clear however.

Sir Gilbert Elliot, 1st Earl of Minto (1751-1814)

Born in Edinburgh and educated there as well as Oxford and abroad, Sir Gilbert Elliot became an English Barrister and MP in his twenties. He was Viceroy of Corsica in the 1790s before returning to his passion of Indian affairs, and by 1806 he was made Governor-General of the country.


While showing caution within his policy-making within India, elsewhere he was making dramatic manoeuvres, supporting missions to Afghanistan and Persia, and asserting the British Empire’s claim to Mauritius and the Spice Islands.

He was made Earl of Minto in 1813, dying soon afterwards.

elliot_img_peopleGilbert John Elliot, 4th Earl of Minto (1847-1914)

Gilbert John Elliot was born in Edinburgh and educated in Cambridge and Eton before entering the army in 1867. In Britain’s greatest horse race, the Grand National, he was a rider four times, coming fourth in 1847. He became military secretary to the Governor General of Canada in 1883. Fifteen years later he was Governor General himself, a post he held until 1904.

Following great success and prosperity with Canada, Elliot moved to India to become its Viceroy for six years. It was the Morley-Minto reforms which allowed Indians to have a say in the governing of their own country for the first time since the Empire arrived.

Walter Elliot (1888-1958)

Scottish Secretary of State Walter Elliot was born in Lanark and graduated in medicine and science from Glasgow University and Glasgow Academy. He fought with distinction in the First World War before entering politics as Conservative MP for Lanark.

Whilst Minister of Agriculture from 1932 he helped introduce agriculture boards. His role as Secretary of State for Scotland began in 1936 and in his two years he oversaw the Scottish Office’s move to Edinburgh. Later he was twice Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and was holder of honorary degrees from all of Scotland’s universities.

He died at home in Hawick.

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