In 1775 Port Glasgow was created a burgh of barony and since 1832 has formed one of the Kilmarnock parliamentary burghs (with Kilmarnock, Dumbarton, Renfrew and Rutherglen).
From 1846 to 1855 he represented the county of Renfrew in parliament in the Conservative interest, and was lord rector of Glasgow University in 1847-1848.
In 1824, after an interval of fourteen years, the third volume appeared, giving, under the same headings, a description of the seven south-western counties - Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigtown, Ayr, Lanark, Renfrew and Dumbarton.
It forms one of the Kilmarnock group of parliamentary burghs, with Dumbarton, Port-Glasgow, Renfrew and Kilmarnock.
The chapel contains the tombs of abbot John Hamilton and of the children of the 1st lord Paisley, and the recumbent effigy of Marjory, daughter of Robert Bruce, who married Walter, the Steward, and was killed while hunting at Knock Hill between Renfrew and Paisley (1316).