Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


answer for some raid, act of treason, or murder, he would perhaps appear at the bar in a suit of mail, with as many armed men as he could muster; and the influence of clanship rendered it dishonourable not to shield and countenance a kins VIEW FROM THE COWGATE OF THE BUILDINGS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE PARLIAMENT CLOSE, THE HIGHEST BUILDINGS IN EDINBURGH. (From a Print published in 1794.) The forcible abduction of Sir Alexander Gibson, Lord Durie, a noted lawyer (who drew up the decisions of the Court from the 11th July, 1621. to the 16th July, 164z)-that his voice and vote might be absent from the decision of a case-is hackbuttiers, with matches lighted, to enforce the ' authority of the Court; before which the former came armed, while four thousand of his followers of Dumbreck, and taken to Northumberland, where he was kept for eight days in the Castle of Harbottle, while his friends and family, unable to ac
Volume 1 Page 168
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures
Parliament House.] THE COURT It has been said-with what truth it is impossible to tell-that, when Cromwell appointed. eleven Commissioners (three of whom were Eng- 4ishmen) for the administration of justice at Edinburgh, their decisions were most impartial ; and, on hearing them lauded after the Restoration had -replaced the old lords on the Bench, the Presi- .dent, Gilmour of Craigmillar, said, angrily, ?? Deil thank them-a wheen Kinless loons ! The grave =of one of these Englishmen, George Smith, was - long pointed out in the abbey church, where he was buried by torchlight in 1657. (Lamont?s So far down as 1737 traces of bribery and in- ?fluence in the Court are to be found, and proof ,of this is given in the curious and rare book named the ?? Court of Session Garland.? In a lawsuit, pending 23rd November, 1735, ?Thomas Gibson of Dune, agent for Foulis of ?Woodhall, writes to his employer thus :-? I have spoken to Strachan, and several of the lords, who are all surprised Sir F. (Francis Kinloch, Bart., of Gilmerton) should stand that plea. By Lord St. Clair?s advice, Mrs. Kinloch is to wait on Lady Caunie to-morrow, to cause her to ask the favour Diary). OF SESSION. 169 of Lady St. Clair to solicit Lady Betty Elphingston (Elizabeth Primrose of Carrington) and Lady Dun. My lord proniises to back his lady, and to ply both their lords ; also Leven and his cousin Murkle (a Lord of Session in 1733). He is your good friend, and wishes success; he is jealous Mrs. Mackie will side with her cousin Beattie. St. Clair says Leven has only once gone wrong upon his Rand since he was a Lord of Session. Mrs. Kinloch has been with Miss Pringle, NewhalL Young Dr. Pringle is a good agent there, and discourses Lord Newhall strongCy an the law of Lord Newhall was Sir Walter Pnngle, Knight, son of the Laird of Stitchill, Lord of Session in 1718. But such would seem to have been the influences that were used to obtain decisions in the olden time; and, before quitting the subject of the Parliament House we may recall a few of the most notable senators, the memory of whose names still lingers there. The most distinguished lawyer of the seventeenth century was undoubtedly Sir John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall, son of a bailie of Edinburgh. He was born there in 1646 ; and, after being at nature.? b PLAN OF THE PARLIAMENT HOUSE AND LAW COURTS.
Volume 1 Page 169
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures