Son of John Gordon, 8th Viscount (by courtesy) Kenmure, and Frances Mackenzie. Sometime captain in the 17th Regiment of foot and member of parliament for the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright (1784-1786). The family had lost its peerage as a consequence of its part in the Jacobite rebellion in 1716 - John Gordon's brother, father and uncle having thus been Viscounts only by courtesy. Gordon managed to get parliament to restore the title to the family, and thus became the actual 7th Viscount, although styled the 10th Viscount by courtesy.1 He died without issue at an advanced age and was succeeded by his nephew Adam Gordon (1792-?), son of his brother Adam Gordon, and Harriet Davies.2
- 1. The actual year of the restoration is not entirely clear. According to Pottle in Boswell's Journal of my Jaunt, it happened in 1824. According to Electric Scots, it happened as early as 1788 (Link), and according to the Scottish Nation Biographical Dictionary, it happened even earlier, on June 17, 1784.
- 2. According to O'Byrne, William R. (1849) A Naval Biographical Dictionary: Comprising the Life and Services of Every Living Officer in Her Majesty's Navy, from the Rank of Admiral of the Fleet to that of Lieutenant, Inclusive. London: John Murray.
James Boswell met John Gordon at Kenmure House during his stay there from September 16 - 18, 1762.