Adam Rolland Rainy

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Adam Rainy (published in the Illustrated London News
The huge monument to the Rainy family, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

Dr Adam Rolland Rainy (3 April 1862 – 26 August 1911)[1] was a Liberal Party politician in Scotland who sat in the House of Commons for Kilmarnock Burghs. By profession he was a surgeon oculist.[2]


He was the son of the Very Rev Robert Rainy DD (1826-1906), Principal of New College, Edinburgh and his wife, Susan Rolland (1835-1905) and was born and raised in Edinburgh.

He is buried in the Rainy family plot in Dean Cemetery in western Edinburgh against the southern retaining wall.

His son, also Adam Rolland Rainy (1889-1926), won the Military Cross in the Royal Artillery in the First World War, but died in Natal.

Political career[edit]

In 1900 Rainy embarked on a political career when he stood for parliament at the 1900 General Election. He had been selected as Liberal Party candidate for the marginal Conservative seat of Kilmarnock Burghs. Against the background of the Second Boer War, the Liberal Party made few gains and Rainy was unable to win the seat; He was re-selected as Liberal candidate and at the 1906 general election he had an easier task on two accounts, the incumbent Conservative Member of Parliament was not re-standing and the elections were held at a better moment for the Liberals who had just assumed office. He gained the seat with ease;[3] In parliament he sat on the government backbenches, without accepting government office. In 1907 was the Seconder of the Address in the Commons. He was an active supporter of Scottish Home Rule. In 1908 he seconded the motion of Irish leader John Redmond in favour of Home Rule for both Ireland and Scotland.[4] He sought re-election for Kilmarnock at the next general election in January 1910. The popularity of the Liberals fell from its height of 1906, but despite this, Rainy actually managed to increase his majority; Within 11 months another general election took place, producing an almost identical result both nationally and in Kilmarnock. He died on 26 August 1911 at the youthful age of 49, causing the Kilmarnock District by-election, 1911.[3] In 1915 his widow Annabelle had published by J. Maclehose the Life of Adam Rolland Rainy, MP.

Election results[edit]

General Election 1900: Kilmarnock Burghs[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John McAusland Denny 6,073 51.6
Liberal Adam Rolland Rainy 5,692 48.4
Majority 384 3.2
Turnout 11,765 86.4
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1906: Kilmarnock Burghs[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Adam Rolland Rainy 8,268 59.0 +10.6
Conservative Thomas W McIntyre 5,743 41.0 -10.6
Majority 2,525 18.0 21.2
Turnout 87.4 +1.0
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +10.6
General Election January 1910: Kilmarnock Burghs[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Adam Rolland Rainy 8,937 61.1 +2.1
Conservative John James Bell 5,701 38.9 -2.1
Majority 3,236 22.2 +4.2
Turnout 88.9
Liberal hold Swing +2.1
General Election December 1910: Kilmarnock Burghs[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Adam Rolland Rainy 8,657 60.9 -0.2
Conservative James Buyers Black 5,569 39.1 +0.2
Majority 3,088 21.8 -0.4
Turnout 14,226 86.4 -2.5
Liberal hold Swing -0.2


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "K" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ Photo of ARRainy, National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved July 2010
  3. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 513. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  4. ^ "Dr. A. R. Rainy." Times [London, England] 28 Aug. 1911: 9. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 15 May 2014.
  5. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1901
  6. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1907
  7. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  8. ^ British parliamentary election results 1885-1918 by Craig, F.W.S. (1974)

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John McAusland Denny
Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock Burghs
Succeeded by
William Glynne Charles Gladstone