SHAW, Sir John, 3rd Bt. (?1679-1752), of Renfrew and Carnock, Stirling.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1708 - 1710
1722 - 1727
1727 - 1734

Family and Education

b. ?1679, 1st s. of Sir John Shaw, 2nd Bt., by Eleanor, da. and eventually coh. of Sir Thomas Nicolson, 2nd Bt., of Carnock. educ. Glasgow 1694. m. 15 Mar. 1700, Margaret, 1st da. of Hon. Sir Hew Dalrymple, 1st Bt., M.P. [S], of North Berwick, Haddington, ld. pres. of ct. of session, and aunt of Sir Hew Dalrymple, 2nd Bt., 1da. suc. fa. Apr. 1702.

Offices Held


Shaw, whose family owned estates in Clackmannan, became closely associated with the growth of Greenock as a rival to Glasgow on the Clyde, where he himself was responsible for financing the building of the harbour.1 Connected with Argyll, under whom he fought in the Fifteen rebellion at the battle of Sheriffmuir,2 he was returned as a Whig for Clackmannanshire in 1722. A government supporter, he voted for the bills of pains and penalties against those involved in the Atterbury plot but protested to Walpole against appointing Englishmen to fill offices in Scotland.3 He was active on behalf of the Government in the malt tax riots in 1725, when the magistrates of Glasgow refused to act against the mob and new commissions of the peace had to be issued. Duncan Forbes, the lord advocate, wrote to him, 5 July:

As I am sensible of the interest you have with the gentlemen of your neighbourhood, I must beg the favour of you that you with as many neighbours as you can persuade to be wise, would forthwith come into Glasgow, qualify as justices of the peace and assist in the commitment of such of the rioters, as shall be presented to you upon proper informations. You have certainly heard that a good body of troops, foot and dragoons are ordered into Glasgow ... My earnest request to you is that, without losing one moment’s time you would order your affairs so as to be at Glasgow on the day the troops arrive, to the end that you may give countenance to the justices accepting and acting.

When he arrived Forbes found him ‘very hearty’.4 In the summer of that year, Shaw, who for several years had been pressing for vigorous measures to prevent the running of Irish victuals into Scotland, was granted a commission authorizing him ‘to burn all boats that shall bring meal or grain from Ireland to Scotland’.5 Returned for Renfrewshire in 1727, he voted with the Administration on the army in 1732 and on the excise in 1733. In 1734 he stood unsuccessfully for Clackmannanshire. During the Forty-five he and his wife mobilized local support for the forces under General John Campbell, raising the militia in Greenock in spite of threats from the rebels.6

He died 5 Apr. 1752.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Sir J. Marwick, River Clyde and the Clyde Burghs.
  • 2. HMC 2nd Rep. 26; A. Williamson, Old Greenock, 66.
  • 3. HMC 2nd Rep. 26.
  • 4. More Culloden Pprs. ii. 253-4, 272.
  • 5. HMC 2nd Rep. 26; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1720-8, p. 366.
  • 6. Campbell to Lady Shaw, 24 Dec. 1745, and Lady Shaw to Campbell, 28 Dec. 1745 and 3 Jan. 1746, Mamore mss 58, 62 and 71, NLS; Sir J. Fergusson, Argyll in the Forty-Five, 60.