George Dempster was a giant of a man who became one of the best-known and most deservedly popular Scotsman of his day. He served for thirty years as a Member of Parliament in Westminster and was closely involved with the expansion of British influence and trade across the world particularly in India and North America. This was the age of Empire building and intense rivalry between competing imperial powers, which led to protracted warfare. A lawyer by training, Dempster was at the heart of political and business life and his circle of friends was large and powerful. Yet power did not corrupt him and he was respected by allies and opponents alike, being known as 'Honest George'. Laird of estates at Skibo in Sutherland and Dunnichen in Angus, Dempster's energy was legendary and he used his talents as reformer, innovator, entrepreneur and developer to bring prosperity and jobs to disadvantaged regions of his beloved Scotland. Dempster was more than an observer of history; he made it.
This highly detailed biography of a major but hitherto little known figure of the period gives a rare insight into the political life of the Georgian era, covering the growth of British rule in India, loss of North America during the War of Independence and the years of constant conflict with France. The Gentleman Usher, this superbly researched work with its copious illustrations, is an important and authoritative addition to the bibliography of Scottish history of the period.