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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 586
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438 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. estimation in which his character was held. In 1812 he received the additional appointment of Solicitor of Teinds. Mr. M'Cormick was remarkable for benevolence of disposition, gentlemanly appearance, and deportment. He married, on the 6th April 1786, Miss Joanna Hamilton of Grange (Ayrshire), by whom he had four sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Samuel, after serving some time as an Advocate-Depute, was promoted to the Sheriffship of Bute, which office he held until his death, which occurred in 1834. Another son was a lieutenant in the East India Company's service, and died at the age of twenty. His two daughters only survived. V.-GEORGE CRANSTOUN, afterwards LORD COREROUSE. This admirable judge was a son of the Hon. George Cranstoun of Longworton. He was originally designed for the military profession. He passed advocate in 179 3 ; was appointed one of the Depute-Advocates in 1805 ; chosen Dean of Faculty in 1823 ; and elevated to the bench, on the death of Lord Hermand, in 1826, from which he retired in 1839, and was succeeded by Lord Murray. His lordship is known as the author of the "Diamond Beetle Case," an amusing but not overcharged caricature of the judicial style of several judges of a bygone era. An excellent Greek scholar, Mr. Cranstoun, on that account, was a great favourite with Lord Monboddo, who used to declare that " Cranstoun was the only scholar in all Scotland!" The scholars, in Lord Monboddo's opinion, being all on the other side of the Tweed. While on the bench Lord Corehouse was the beau-ideal of a judge ; placid and calm, he listened with patience to the long-winded orations which it was too often his fate to hear, although he endeavoured as much as he could, with propriety, to keep counsel to the proper merits of their case. A first-rate lawyer, especially in all feudal questions, his opinions were uniformly listened to with the deepest respect. VI.-JOHN CLERK, afterwards LORD ELDIN. This well-known and able lawyer was the eldest son of John Clerk, Esq. of Eldin, sixth son of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, and author of a celebrated work on Naval Tactics. He was born in April 1757, and educated with the view of proceeding to India; but the expectations of his friends having been disappointed by the occurrence of certain political changes, his attention was turned to the legal profession. After completing his apprenticeship as a Writer to the Signet, and having practised for a year or two as an accountant, he qualified himself for the bar, and was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1785. Possessed of the most promising intellectual requisites, Mr. Clerk speedily rose to distinction ; and it is said that at one period he had nearly one-half of all the business of the Court upon his hands. His style of pleading was " distinguished by strong sense, acuteness, and the most profound reasoning, His sole object being to convince, his mode of stating the argument was brief, simple, and clear. His eloquence was a constant appeal to legal reason, in the masterly exposition of which thewhole collected force of his intellect was displayed.
Volume 9 Page 587
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