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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Currie.] DR. JAMES ANDERSON. . 335 were appointed to look after the king?s exchequer, ?properties, and casualties,? were named. (?Moyses? Memoirs.?) In April, 1598, he witnessed at Stirling the contract between James VL, Ludovick Stewart, Duke of Lennox, and Hugh, fifth Earl of Eglinton, for the marriage of the latter and Gabriella, sister of the duke. He is best known in Scottish legal literature by his treatise ?? De Verborum Significatione,? and the edition of the ?? Regiam Majestatem,? but Lord Hailes doubted if his knowledge of Scottish antiquities was equal to his industry. In 1607, with reference to the latter work, Sir James Balfour records in his Annales? that ?? The ancient Lawes of Scotland, collected by s? John Skeene, Clerke of Register, on the Lordes of the Privey Counsall?s recommendation to the King, by their letters of the 4th of Marche this yeire wer ordained to be published and printed, on his Majestie?s charges.? This work, which was printed in folio at Edinburgh in 1609, is entitled ? REGIAM MAJESTATEM SCOTIR;. The auld lawes and constitutions of Scotland, faithfullie collected furth of the Register, and other auld authentick Bukes, from the dayes of King hlalcolme the Second vntill the time of King Jame the First.? It contains the Quoniam Attachianzentq or Baron Laws, the Burgh Laws, the Forest Law: of William the Lion, and many other quaint anc curious statutes. His son, Sir James Skene of Curriehill, succeedec Thomas, Earl of Mehose, as President of thc Court of Session in 1626. At what time he w;1! made a baronet of Nova Scotia is unknown, bui his death as such is thus recorded by Balfour :- ?The 20 of October (1663) deyed s? Jame: Skeine of Curriehill, Knight and Barronet, Presi dent of the Colledge of Justice, at his auen houssc in Edinburghe, and was interred in the Greyfriar: ther.? Re was buried within the church, when his tomb was found a few years ago; and tht house in which he died is that described as bein; ?beside the Grammar School,? within the south east angle of the Flodden wall, and in after years the official residence of the Professor of Divinity. Sir Archibald Johnston (Lord Warriston) wa: a considerable heritor in the parish of Currie Maitland (Lord Ravelrig) we have already referrec to, and also to Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton ?The Scotts of hlalleny, father and son, were like wise eminent lawyers at the same period, and tht latter had a seat on the bench,? says the ?Olc Statistical Account? ; but if so, his name does no1 appear in the list of senators at that time. (? Eglinton Memorials.?) . The late General Thomas Scott of Malleny, who lied at the age of ninety-six, served on the contilent of Europe, and in the American War under .he Marquis of Cornwallis. He entered the army when a boy, and was a :aptain in the 53rd Foot in October, 1777. It is -ecorded of him that he carried some very impor- :ant despatches in the barrel of his spontoon with ucess and dexterity, passing through the American hes in the disguise of aa armed pedler. These services were recognised by Lord Melbourne, who gave him a pension without solkitation. He belonged latterly to the Scots Brigade ; was t major-general of 1808, and a lieutenant-general af 1813. In 1882 his ancient patrimony of Malleny was purchased by the Earl of Rosebery. James Anderson, LLD., a miscellaneous writer of considerable eminence, the son of a farmer, was born at Hermiston, near Currie, in 1739, ?His ancestors had been farmers,? says the Sots Magazine for 1809, ?and had for several generations farmed the same land, which circumstance is supposed to have introduced him to that branch of knowledge which formed the chief occupation of his life.? Among the companions of his youth, born in the same hamlet, was Dr. James Anderson, who in the early years of the present century was Physician- General of the Forces in Madras. They were related, educated together, and maintained a correspondence throughout life. Losing his father at the age of fifteen, he entered upon the management of his ancestral farm, and at the same time attended the chemistry class of Dr. Cullen in the University of Edinburgh, studying also several collateral branches of science. He adopted a number of improvements, one of which, the introduction of a small two-horse plough, was afterwards so common in Scotland. Amid his ? agricultural labours, so great was his thirst for knowledge, and so steady his application, that he contrived to acquire a considerable stock of information; and in 1771, under the nouz de phme of ? Agricola,? he contributed to Ruddiman?s Edinburgh Week4 Xagazine a series of ? Essays on Planting,? which were afterwards published in a volume. In 1773 he furnished the article Monsoon? to the first edition of the EmycZopdia Britannica,. in which, curiously enough, he confidently predicted the failure of?captain Cook?s first expedition in search of a southern polar continent. Previous to ,1777 he had removed from Hermistop to a large uncultivated farm, consisting of
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thirteen hundred acres, which he rented in Aberdeenshire, and which, by his skill and industry, he brought into a fine state of fertility. In the same year he wrote his ?? Observations on the Means of Exciting a Spirit of National Industry ? with regard to agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and fisher; es, and also several pamphlets on agricultural subjects, which gained him a high reputation ; and in 1780 the University of Aberdeen conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. CURRIE. quire into the state of the British fisheries in May, 1785, makes very honourable mention of Dr. Anderson?s services ; but we do not find that he was ever offered any remuneration, and he was too high-spirited and purely disinterested to ask for any. After his return he resumed his literary labours in various ways, and, among other schemes, brought out a literary periodical called The Bee, or Literary Week&IntelZigencer, which was current from Decem- Quitting the farm, he returned to the vicinity of Edinburgh, with a view to the education of his large family, and partly to enjoy the literary society which then existed there. About that time he circulated a tract on the establishment of the Scottish fisheries, with a view to alleviate much distress which he had witnessed on the coast of Aberdeenshire from the failure of the crops in 1782. This excited the attention of the Government, and he was requested by the Treasury to survey the western coasts of Scotland, and obtain information on this important subject-a task which he performed with enthusiasm in 1784 Thp report of the committee appointed to in- . ber, 1790, to January, 1794, and was very popular in Edinburgh. In 1797 he removed to London, where much attention was paid to him by the Marquis of Lansdowne, at whose request, in 1799, he started a periodical, entitled Recreations in Agricdture. The greatest portion of this work was written by himself, but he pursued it no further than the sixth volume, in March, 1802. From thenceforth, with the exception of his correspondence with General Washington and a pamphlet od ?Scarcity,? he was unable to write more; and, feeling the powers of life begin to decline, devoted his leisure to the cultivation of a miniature garden. A list of his publications, thirty in number, is
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