Elected M.P. for Stirlingshire in 1708, he was unseated in 1709. However, he was M.P. for Stirlingshire from 1710 till 1715 and Commissioner of Trade (Scotland) in 1711. For joining the Jacobite rising of 1715 he was attainted, whereby the Baronetcy was forfeited in 1716. At Bannockburn House on 14 September 1745, he entertained Prince Charles Edward who made it his headquarters in January 1746. In Anderson's 'Scottish Nation' it was recorded that 'Sir Hugh's granddaughter (Clementina Walkinshaw) is said to have been privately married to the Prince, but she released him to promote the Stuart cause.' However, Clementina Walkinshaw was his niece, being the daughter of his sister.