Kinnaird, Charles, eighth Baron Kinnaird 1780-1826, the eldest surviving son of George, seventh baron Kinnaird, and of Elizabeth, only daughter of Griffin Ransom, banker, of Westminster, was born on 8 April 1780, and educated at the universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Glasgow. His father's connection with the whigs enabled him to obtain a seat in the House of Commons as member for Leominster in 1802. From that time till the death of his father in 1805 he voted consistently with the whigs, and rendered valuable aid to the party in the repeated attacks made upon the Addington ministry. On his succession to the title his seat became vacant, but at the general election in 1806 he was chosen one of the Scottish representative peers, a position which had been held by his father. In 1807 he began the erection of Rossie Priory in the Carse of Gowrie, Perthshire, still the principal seat of the Kinnaird family in Scotland. Kinnaird resided much on the continent, and his refined taste led him to secure many works of art dispersed during the Napoleonic wars. The picture gallery at Rossie Priory contains both pictures by the old masters, and portraits of contemporaries, including Gainsborough's Sir William Johnstone Pulteney and Reynolds's splendid portrait of Sheridan. Kinnaird died 11 Dec. 1826. In May 1806 he married Lady Olivia Fitzgerald, youngest daughter of the second Duke of Leinster, and by her he had three sons and two daughters—George William Fox, ninth lord Kinnaird [qv.]; Graham Hay St. Vincent de Ros, lieutenant royal navy, drowned off Bona, 1838; and Arthur Fitzgerald, tenth lord Kinnaird [qv.]. There is a portrait of Lord Kinnaird by Northcote preserved at Rossie Priory, and a marble bust of him in the old kirk of Rossie, which is now reserved as the burying-place of the Kinnaird family.
Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. Wood, ii. 43
Millar's Historical Castles and Mansions of Scotland, i. 38 et seq.
Contributor: A. H. M. [Alexander Hastie Millar]