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Sir Andrew Leith Hay, KH (17 February 1785 – 13 October 1862) was a Scottish soldier, politician and writer on architecture. He served in the Peninsular War, 1808–14; was Liberal Member of Parliament for Elgin Burghs from 1832–8 and from 1841–7. He was appointed Clerk of the Ordnance in 1834, and was appointed a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order in the same year.

Biography

Andrew Leith Hay was the eldest son of General Alexander Leith Hay, and was born at Aberdeen on 17 February 1785. He entered the army as an ensign in the 72nd Foot on 8 January 1806, went to the Peninsula in 1808 as aide-de-camp to his uncle, General Sir James Leith, and served through the war until 1814. He was much employed in gaining intelligence, and was present at many of the actions from Corunna to the storming of San Sebastian. Wherever he went he made sketches, and in 1831 worked up these materials into two volumes, entitled A Narrative of the Peninsula War. On General Leith being appointed to the governorship of Barbadoes in 1816, his nephew accompanied him, and discharged the duties of military secretary and also those of assistant quartermaster-general and assistant adjutant-general. As captain in the 2nd Foot he served from 21 November 1817 to 30 September 1819, when he was placed on half-pay. [1]

He had previously been named a knight commander of the order of Charles III of Spain, and a member of the Legion of Honour.[1]

Having retired from the army he turned his attention to politics, took part in the agitation preceding the passing of the Reform Act 1832, and became member for the Elgin Burghs on 29 December 1832. Shortly after entering parliament his readiness as a speaker and his acquaintance with military affairs attracted the notice of Lord Melbourne, who conferred on him the lucrative appointment of clerk of the ordnance on 19 June 1834, and also made him a knight of Hanover. On 6 February 1838, on being appointed to the governorship of Bermuda, he resigned his seat in parliament.[1]

Circumstances, however, arose which prevented him from going to Bermuda, and on 7 July 1841 he was again elected for the Elgin burghs, and continued to sit till 23 July 1847. At the election in the following month he was displaced, nor was he successful when he contested the city of Aberdeen on 10 July 1852.[1]

To county matters he paid much attention, more especially to the affairs of the county of Aberdeen. His most interesting and useful book, entitled The Castellated Architecture of Aberdeenshire, appeared in 1849. The work consists of lithographs of the principal baronial residences in the county, all from sketches by himself; the letterpress, which contains a great amount of information, being also from his pen.[1]

His wife, whom he married in 1816, was Mary Margaret, daughter of William Clark of Buckland House, Devonshire; she died on 28 May 1859. His eldest son, Colonel Alexander Sebastian Leith-Hay (1819-1897), C.B., was well known by his service in the Crimea and India. Andrew Leith Hay died at Leith Hall, Aberdeenshire, on 13 October. 1862.[1]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir William Gordon Gordon-Cumming, Bt
Member for Elgin Burghs
1832–1838
Succeeded by
Fox Maule
Preceded by
Fox Maule
Member for Elgin Burghs
1841–1847
Succeeded by
George Skene Duff
Military offices
Preceded by
William Leader Maberley
Clerk of the Ordnance
1834
Succeeded by
Sir Edward William Campbell Rich Owen
Preceded by
Sir Edward William Campbell Rich Owen
Clerk of the Ordnance
1835–1838
Succeeded by
James Whitley Deans Dundas

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Boase, George C. (1890). "Hay, Sir Andrew Leith (1785–1862), writer on architecture" (HTML). Dictionary of National Biography Vol. XXIV. Smith, Elder & Co.. http://www.oxforddnb.com/templates/olddnb.jsp?articleid=12706. Retrieved 2007-11-16.  

Notes

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