George Hay was a soldier, who rose to the rank of Field-Marshal. He was born at Yester, near Gifford in East Lothian. He entered the army in 1804, the same year in which he succeeded to his hereditary title of 8th Marquess of Tweeddale. He saw service in Sicily and under Wellington in the Peninsular War, as well as in America. In 1842 he was appointed Governor of Madras. Tweeddale was noted for his physique and also as a horseman, and is said to have driven a coach from London to Haddington without a halt.