James Cowan (Scottish politician)

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James Cowan (1816 – 24 November 1895)[1] was a Liberal Party politician in Scotland.

He was the son of Alexander Cowan, papermaker and philanthropist. He was one of eleven children including Charles Cowan MP, and Sir John Cowan Bart..[2]

He was Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1872 to 1874.[3]

He was elected at the 1874 general election as a Member of Parliament for Edinburgh,[4] and held the seat until he resigned from the House of Commons in 1882[4] by the procedural device of taking the office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham.

He is buried with his family on the west side of the original cemetery in Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh.


  1. ^ "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "E" (part 1)". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  2. ^ Oxford National Dictionary of Biography
  3. ^ Wood, Marguerite; Whitson, Sir Thomas Barnby (1932). The Lord Provosts of Edinburgh, 1296-1932. Edinburgh. p. 131. 
  4. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 540. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Duncan McLaren
John Miller
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh
With: Duncan McLaren to Jan 1881
John McLaren Jan–Aug 1881
Thomas Buchanan 1881–1882
Succeeded by
John McLaren
Samuel Danks Waddy