From Ilay to Dundas
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Most of the Scots who attended parliament only hired houses or rooms in London. The practice was general among politicians from the whole of Great Britain so that the price of accommodation fell sharply when parliament rose. Scots would then return to Scotland or, if they had the means, to country houses in England. Most of the Scots were of modest means in comparison with the English members. Such generalisations hide the fact that the more important Scottish politicians, including Montrose, Roxburghe, Argyll and Ilay, were comfortable in London society and were sophisticated, well-travelled men. It may also be said that the integration of the Scottish landed elite into English society was well under way by mid century. Hazel Horn, in describing the lives of the Scots in London, observes that of the 16 representative peers in 1747 to 1752, seven had English wives (three of them having had two).1 To this total we may add Ilay, whose estranged English wife died in 1723.
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