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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 243 KO. XCIX. JOHN DAVIDSON, ESQ., AND LORD HENDERLAND. GEORGE PATON, ESQ. LORD MONBODDO AND DR. HUTTON. MR. JOHN DAVIDSON, the first figure in the division entitled " Conversation,'' was the son of a bookseller in Edinburgh, and followed the profession of a Writer to the Signet. During the greater part of his life he enjoyed, perhaps, the most lucrative and respectable business in Edinburgh. He was a man of superior abilities, and of great acuteness and industry. His literary acquirements were highly estimated by his friends, to whom he frequently rendered valuable assistance. Principal Robertson, in the preface of his History of Scotland, which was given to the world in 1759, makes honourable mention of Mr. Davidson in these words :-'' The facts and observations which relate to Mary's letters, I owe to my friend Mr. John Davidson, one of the Clerks of the Signet, who hath examined this point with his usual acuteness and industry." Mr. Davidson printed, but did not publish, two tracts: the one on the Regiam Majestatem, and the other on the Black Acts. In 1771 he printed for private distribution a thin 4to volume, entitled " Accounts of the Chamberlain of Scotland in 1329, 1330, and 1331, from the originals in the Exchequer, with some other curious Papers." 1 He had an only son, who died before him in early life. The late Mr. Hugh Warrender, his first clerk, succeeded to his business at his death, which occurred at Edinburgh on the 29th December 1797. The house built by Mr. Davidson, and for sixty years successively inhabited by him and Mr. Warrender, was the uppermost house on the Castle Hill, next to the Castle, on the north side of the street, and became the property of Sir George Warrender, Bart., who inherited it under the settlement of his relative. The founder of the family, and first baronet, was a tradesman of Edinburgh at the beginning of last century ; a circumstance on which Sir George prides himself exceedingly. The estate of Stewartfield, acquired by Ifi. Davidson, was, in consequence of a destination in his settlement, inherited by a younger son of Lord Glenlee. For many years Mr. Davidson was agent for the Crown. LORD HENDERLAND is represented as engaged in conversation with Mr. Davidson--each in the attitude which, upon such occasions, he was wont In some copies a third appendix is to be found, of which only about a dozen copias were thrown pff.
Volume 8 Page 341
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Volume 8 Page 342
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