James Cunningham, 14th Earl of Glencairn

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James Cunningham
Born (1749-06-01)1 June 1749
Died 30 January 1791(1791-01-30) (aged 41)
Title 14th Earl of Glencairn
Known for patron of Robert Burns
Nationality Scottish

James Cunningham, 14th Earl of Glencairn (1 June 1749 – 30 January 1791) was a Scottish nobleman, soldier and patron of Robert Burns.


James the second son of William, 13th Earl, was born in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire. On the death vida patris of his elder brother William in 1768, he became Lord Kilmaurs; he succeeded to the Earldom, while on a tour of Norway, Lapland and Sweden, when his father died on 9 September 1775.

James Cunninghame, 14th Earl of Glencairn

A Captain in the Western Fencibles Regiment from 1778, he served as one of the 16 representative peers from 1780 to 1784 and supported Fox's India Bill in 1783. In 1786 he sold his ancient family estate and former seat of Kilmaurs (the Cunninghams having moved their seat to Finlaystone in the 13th century) to Henrietta Scott later to become the Marchioness of Titchfield.

He is best remembered for his friendship with Robert Burns to whom he gave his patronage.[1] He was instrumental in the production of the Second Edition of Burn's Poems (Hill MDCCXL).

He died, unmarried, from consumption at Falmouth, soon after landing from Lisbon, where he had been wintering in the warmer winter clime. He was buried in the chancel of the Church of King Charles the Martyr, Falmouth. He was succeeded in the peerage by his brother John.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland: The Grampian Society, 1871
  •  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Cunningham, James (1749-1791)". Dictionary of National Biography. 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  • Brown, Peter, publisher, The Peerage of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1834, p. 88.
  • Hill, D.O., The Land of Burns, Glasgow, 1840.
  • Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867, vol.v, p. 313.
  • Wood, John Philip (Ed) The Peerage of Scotland by Sir Robert Douglas of Glenbervie,Bart, Edinburgh, 1813, vol.i, p. 640