BAIRD, John (1685-1745), of Newbyth, Haddington.
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Family and Education
b. 13 Oct. 1685, 1st s. of Sir William Baird, 1st Bt., of Newbyth by his 1st w. Helen, da. of Sir John Gilmour of Craigmillar, Edinburgh, ld. president of the court of session. educ. ?Glasgow Univ. 1702, ?M.A. 1706. m. Janet (who afterwards m. James St. Clair), da. of Sir David Dalrymple, 1st Bt., of Hailes, Haddington, s.p. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 17 Feb. 1737.
Commr. of the equivalent 1715-19.
The grandson of a prominent judge and politician, whose son had been created a baronet, Baird was returned as a Whig for Edinburghshire in 1715. Described as ‘a creature of the Dalrymples’,1 he obtained a place of £500 a year, voting with the Government on the septennial bill and in the division on Cadogan in 1717, when the Duke of Argyll’s party suspected that attempts were being made to recruit him by their rivals, the Squadrone.2 He did not vote on the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts or on the peerage bill in 1719. Defeated in 1722, he stood again unsuccessfully for the county in 1744 against his first cousin by marriage, Sir Charles Gilmour. He died 30 September 1745, still seeking arrears of salary due to him for the post which he had obtained at George I’s accession.3