James William Greig

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James William Greig

Colonel Sir James William Greig CB, KC, VD (31 January 1859 – 10 June 1934)[1] was a British barrister and Liberal Party politician. He sat in the House of Commons from 1910 to 1922.

Early life[edit]

Greig was the son of John Borthwick Greig from Abingon Street, Westminster, and his wife Mary, daughter of William Grant from Madeira.[2] He was educated at University College School and at University College London, where he graduated with a BA and LL.B.[2] He also studied in Paris at the Sorbonne and at the Collège de France.[3]


Greig was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1882,[2] and pracised at the Parliamentary Bar and in Chancery Bar.[3] He became a King's Counsel (KC) in 1913[4] and a bencher in 1917.[2] He became standing arbitrator under the Railways Act 1921.[3]

He was elected at the January 1910 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Western Renfrewshire.[5][6] He was re-elected in December 1910,[7] and in 1917 he became Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary for Scotland, Robert Munro.[2] He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1918.[2]

At the 1918 general election he was re-elected in Western Renfrewshire[8] as a Coalition Liberal,[9] i.e. a supporter of David Lloyd George's coalition government. He was knighted in June 1921,[10] but he was defeated when he stood as a National Liberal at the 1922 general election.[9] He contested Berwick and Haddington at the 1929 general election, but came third with 26% of the votes.[11]

Greig also served in the Volunteer Force, and by 1908 he was a Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel of the 7th Middlesex (London Scottish) Volunteer Rifle Corps.[12] When the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 merged the Volunteers with the remaining units of militia and Yeomanry, he became Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel commanding the 14th Battalion of the County of London (London Scottish) Regiment of the new Territorial Force.[12] He was awarded the Volunteer Decoration.[10]


Greig married Jeannie Taylor, daughter of Captain Edward Brown from Salem, Massachusetts.[3] She died in 1931.[3]

Greig died suddenly on 10 June 1934, at his home in Hyde Park Gate, London.[3] He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, and his ashes were interred at West Hampstead Cemetery.[13] A memorial service was held at St Columba's Church in Pont Street.[3]

His estate was valued at £27,921 (gross).[14]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hesilridge, Arthur G. M. (1918). Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1918. London: Dean & Son. p. 67. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Sir James Greig, K.C. Lawyer, Politician, And Soldier". The Times (London). 12 June 1934. pp. 16, col E. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28766. p. 7336. 21 October 1913. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28338. p. 1039. 11 February 1910. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  6. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 558. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28449. p. 9559. 23 December 1910. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31147. p. 1366. 28 January 1919. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  9. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 645. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
  10. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 32346. p. 4530. 4 June 1921. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  11. ^ Craig, election results 1918–1949, page 619
  12. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 28150. p. 4559. 23 June 1908. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  13. ^ "Deaths". The Times (London). 14 June 1934. p. 19, col D. 
  14. ^ "Wills and Bequests". The Times (London). 23 August 1934. p. 13, col B. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Glen-Coats, Bt
Member of Parliament for Western Renfrewshire
January 19101918
Succeeded by
Robert Murray