Robert Farquharson (politician)

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"West Aberdeenshire"
Farquharson as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, May 1895

Robert Farquharson (1837 – 8 June 1918) was a Scottish doctor and Liberal politician.


Dr. Robert Farquharson of Finzean (1875-1899), John Singer Sargent, 1881

Farquharson was the son of Francis Farquharson of Finzean. He received his medical education at Edinburgh University becoming M.D. in 1858. He became and assistant surgeon in the Coldstream Guards. He was also physician to St Mary's Hospital, London, lecturer on Materia Medica, and physician to Belgrave Hospital for Children. He became Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London in 1877. He was a JP and a Deputy Lieutenant for Aberdeenshire.[1]

At the 1880 general election he was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for West Aberdeenshire.[2] In 1884, he was a guest at Haddo House for a dinner hosted by John Hamilton-Gordon, 1st Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair in honour of William Ewart Gladstone on his tour of Scotland.[3] He held the West Aberdeenshire seat until 1906,[4] although his majority in 1886 was down to 80.[4] In 1905 he decided to stand down at the following election.[citation needed]

Farquharson and his younger brother Joseph Farquharson looked after the estate at Finzean. Aboyne. Aberdeenshire. His brother was an artist and through this connection, he had his portrait painted by the American artist John Singer Sargent.[5]

Farquharson was the author of numerous books including his autobiographical My First Election, from In and Out of Parliament.


  1. ^ Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  2. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 569. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  3. ^ Emslie, Alfred Edward. "Dinner at Haddo House, 1884". National Portrait Gallery, London. 
  4. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 526. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  5. ^ John Singer Sargent's Dr. Robert Farquharson of Finzean

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lord Douglas Gordon
Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire
Succeeded by
John McDonald Henderson