Author. Member of Parliament (1768- 1805).
Advocate at the Scottish bar. Moved in Edinburgh literary circles. Friend of Adam Smith and of David Hume. Correspondent and business associate of William Alexander.
Author of the pamphlet Thoughts on the Present State of Affairs with America, and the Means of Conciliation (London, 1778), which Alexander sent to Franklin.
Twice went to Paris, where he met with Franklin and unsuccessfully attempted to persuade him that conciliation was possible (March 1778).
Married in 1760 to Frances Pulteney. Took the name of Pulteney in 1767 upon his wife’s succession to the estates of Lord Bath.