Sir John Gilmour, 2nd Baronet

For his son, the Conservative MP for Fife East, see Sir John Gilmour, 3rd Baronet.
The Right Honourable
Sir John Gilmour, 2nd Baronet
Home Secretary
In office
1 October 1932  7 June 1935
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by Sir Herbert Samuel
Succeeded by Sir John Simon
Personal details
Born 27 May 1876
Montrave, Fife, Scotland
Died 30 March 1940(1940-03-30) (aged 63)
London, England
Nationality British
Political party Unionist
Spouse(s) (1) Mary Louise Lambert
(2) Violet Agnes Lambert
(3) Lady Mary Cecilia Hamilton
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Religion Church of Scotland

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Gilmour, 2nd Baronet GCVO DSO TD PC JP DL (27 May 1876 – 30 March 1940), was a Scottish Unionist politician. He notably served as Home Secretary from 1932 to 1935.

Early life

Gilmour was the son of Sir John Gilmour, 1st Baronet, chairman of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party, who was created a baronet in 1897. His mother was Henrietta, daughter of David Gilmour. He was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, the University of Edinburgh and Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[1]

Military service

Gilmour was a lieutenant in the Fifeshire Volunteer Light Horse, and was among the officers of the Fife and Forfar volunteer battalions to volunteer for service in the Second Boer War. He was commissioned a lieutenant in the Imperial Yeomanry on 7 February 1900,[2] and served in South Africa with the 20th (Fife and Forfarshire Light Horse) Company of the 6th Battalion. For his service, he was awarded the Queen's medal with 4 clasps and was twice mentioned in despatches.[3] His letters from the Boer War were published in 1996 under the title "Clearly My Duty" by his son, Sir John Gilmour, 3rd Baronet. He again served in World War I with the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, where he was again mentioned in despatches and awarded the DSO with bar. His service after the war saw him rise to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel when he commanded the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry. On 8 May 1931 he was made the Honorary Colonel of the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry.[4]

Political career

He unsuccessfully contested East Fife in 1906 and was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for East Renfrewshire from 1910–1918 and for Glasgow Pollok from 1918 until 1940. He was a Junior Lord of the Treasury in 1921-1922, Scottish Unionist Whip from 1919–1922 and in 1924.

He was appointed as Secretary for Scotland in 1924, and became the first Secretary of State for Scotland when the post was upgraded in 1926. A member of the Orange Order , Gilmour, as Secretary for Scotland, repudiated the Church of Scotland's report, "The Menace of the Irish Race to our Scottish Nationality".

Later in his career he served as Minister of Shipping during the early months of the Second World War but died in office in 1940.[5]

Other appointments

Gilmour was Master of the Fife Fox Hounds, 1902–1906 and a Member of Fife County Council 1901-1910. He was Rector of the University of Edinburgh, 1926–1929 and was awarded honorary degrees by the University of Glasgow in 1925, the University of Edinburgh in 1927 and the University of St Andrews in 1929. He was a Brigadier with the Royal Company of Archers. He was made Vice-Lieutenant for the County of Fife on 27 March 1936.[6] Appointed GCVO 1935.


Gilmour first married Mary Louise Lambert, daughter of Edward Tiley Lambert, on 9 April 1902 at St. Mary´s church, Battle, Sussex.[7] After her death in 1919 he married secondly his first wife's sister, Violet Agnes, in 1920.


Gilmour died of a heart attack in London on 30 March 1940,[8] aged 63, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son from his first marriage, John, who also had a successful political career. His daughter from his first marriage, Dame Anne Margaret Bryans worked for the British Red Cross, becoming Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee from 1964-76. His great-nephew, George Younger, was also a Conservative MP and served as Scottish Secretary from 1979-1986.


  1. "Gilmour, John (GLMR895J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27162. p. 808. 6 February 1900.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 27353. p. 5927. 10 September 1901.
  4. Viewing Page 4943 of Issue 33739
  5. "DEATH OF A MINISTER.". Perth Gazette. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 1 April 1940. p. 14. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  6. Viewing Page 2157 of Issue 34270
  7. "Marriages". The Times (36739). London. 11 April 1902. p. 1.
  8. "SIR JOHN GILMOUR DEAD.". Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 - 1950). WA: National Library of Australia. 1 April 1940. p. 1. Retrieved 21 October 2015.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Laidlaw
Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire
January 19101918
Succeeded by
Robert Nichol
New constituency Member of Parliament for Glasgow Pollok
Succeeded by
Thomas Dunlop Galbraith
Political offices
Preceded by
William Adamson
Secretary for Scotland
Succeeded by
as Secretary of State for Scotland
Preceded by
as Secretary for Scotland
Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
William Adamson
Preceded by
Christopher Addison
Minister of Agriculture
Succeeded by
Walter Elliot
Preceded by
Sir Herbert Samuel
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir John Simon
Preceded by
New Office
Minister of Shipping
Succeeded by
Robert Hudson
Academic offices
Preceded by
Stanley Baldwin
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
Winston Churchill
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Gilmour
(of Lundin)
Succeeded by
John Edward Gilmour
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