After an early period of military service abroad, Hugh Elliot, second son of Sir Gilbert Elliot (q.v), had a varied diplomatic career until, in 1803, he was appointed to Naples. Here he encountered a complicated situation. The Queen of Naples wished, and so influenced Elliot, that the English army should remain to defend Naples. However, the British military commander insisted that the army should go to Sicily, the Fleet duly escorted the Royal Family there and Elliot was recalled. He was later appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands and finished his career as Governor of Madras. See Countess of Minto, 'A memoir of the Right Honourable Hugh Elliot' (Edinburgh, 1868).
The papers, part of the Minto collection, were purchased by Sir James Caird in 1941 from the Earl of Minto. They consist of diplomatic correspondence, 1803 to 1806, and contain sixty-two letters from Nelson (q.v.), together with drafts and copies of Elliot's replies and correspondence with Admiral Collingwood (q.v.). There are also intelligence reports and other material which throw light on the diplomacy of the Neapolitan Court. There are further papers relating to Hugh Elliot fn the National Library of Scotland.