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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 443 Clerk (Hope) observed-“ I do not know what the intellects of the gentleman who framed this petition are, or what he conceived ours to be ; and I do not know what his candour may be, or what he expects ours to be, when he states that the second condescendence was not appointed in terms of the act of sederunt.” On another occasion, in 1812, his lordship (then Lord President) farther said -“Mr. Hagart has here, as is his usual practice, stated facts and circumstances of which there is no evidence on the record, and which live in the memory and recollection of that gentleman alone, Mr. Hagart has conducted this case, ccs he does all others he is concerned in, diferently from all counsel at the bar.”l Mr. Hagart attempted to address the Court, but was interrupted by the Lord President, n-ho stated that “he had conversed with his brethren on the subject in the robing-room, and the opinion he had delivered was that of the whole Court.” Again, in 1815, in reference to a written pleading by Mr. Hagart, his lordship observed-‘‘ I have never seen such low wit, vulgar abuse, scurrility, and buffoonery as in these answers. It is painful to think the bar of Scotland has furnished a man capable of writing such a paper.” The Lord President refused to explain or retract his expressions in any manner whatever. In answer to a letter from Mr. Hagar tin 1809, his lordship remarked, “that he did not conceive himself bound to give any kind of private explanation for what he might say on the bench ; not that he wished to arrogate to himself an exemption from responsibility. On the contrary, he knew that he was responsible, and trusted that he would always act under that conviction ; but itswas a legal and public responsibility only to which he would submit.” The action of damages was founded on the plea that the passages quoted were “ destructive of the pursuer’s peace of mind-his professional reputation -and even his moral character in public estimation ; and as he was prepared to show that they were wholly undeserved, the legal inference was, that the defender must have been actuated by a malicious motive.” In this proposition the Lord Ordinary (Pitmilly) did not coincide. On the 5th of March 1816 he finally affirmed his original interlocutor, finding that an action of damages was incompetent, and that the allegation of private malice was unfounded. At this stage of the procedure the pursuer died suddenly; but, in a trustdisposition found in one of his repositories, his trustees-Hope Stewart, Esq. of Ballechin, James Miller, Esq., younger of Milton, and George Steel, at Ruffel -were strictly enjoined to proceed with the action. Accordingly, after going through the necessary forms of law consequent on the pursuer’s demise, the cause was brought before the whole Court; and in 1819 judgment was unanimously given against the trustees, An appeal was now made to the House of Peers ; and the cause was there finally settled on the 1st April 1824, their lordships affirming the interlocutors of the Court of Session, and awarding S200 costs. This probably alludes to Mr. Hagart’s having, as wag alleged, frequently acted in the capacity of agent and lawyer at the same time.
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444 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. The death of Mr. Hagart occurred on the 11th May 1816. He had been on a visit to his estate in Strathardle, and, on his way returning, betwixt Rlairgowrie and Ruffel, was seized with apoplexy, when he became insensible, and in that state remained from the Tuesday till the Saturday evening following, when he expired. Though for several years in bad odour with the Court, he was not without friends, among whom he was prized as ‘‘ an active and strenuous supporter of those political measures and opinions to which he was so zealously attached, ” In the private circle, adds a notice of his demise, “his social qualities were perhaps unrivalled. His cheerfulness, wit, and good humour, never failed to enliven all around him. But he has yet left behind him a more valuable memorial; he was a father to the poor, a friend to the friendless, and the protector of the oppressed. His professional labours were often bestowed without fee or reward ; and the man who had none to help him ever found in Mr. Hagart a patron ready and willing to defend him, and even to afford him pecuniary aid. In a very recent case, he obtained, at his own sole expense, from the court of last resort, that justice for some poor client which could not, be obtained elsewhere.” IX.-THE HON. HENRY ERSKINE-described in the First Volume. X.-ALEXANDER MACONOCHIE, LORDM EADOWBANKof, whom a portrait and memoir have already been given. XI.-DUNCAN NACFARLANE was the youngest of three sons, and born in 1772. His father, Dougald Macfarlane, was a merchant in Glasgow, and engaged in the North American trade at the time the disturbances between this country and that colony broke out; in consequence of which, on his death in 1778, leaving a widow and four young children, the family realised but a small part of the debts due to them there. Mr. Dougald Macfarlane was married to a daughter of George Macfarlane of Glensalloch, who, if he had lived, would have become the chief of the clan; but his fate was singular. He became a lieutenant in the Argyleshire Fencibles, under the command of a Colonel Campbell, who was particularly obnoxious to the adherents of the Stuart family. When the regiment was at Inverness in 1745, the Colonel, wishing to walk out, but desirous of not being recognised by the rebels, asked young Glensalloch, his lieutenant, to change plaids with him, which the young man readily did ; and they had not gone far, when being mistaken by his plaid for the Colonel, he was shot from a thicket, and almost instantly expired, leaving no male issue. hlr. Duncan Macfarlane, the subject of this article, was brought up to the profession of the law in Glasgow ; and, under the auspices of John Orr, Esq.. of Barrowfield, advocate, Dean of the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow, was admitted a member of that body, though contrary to the regulations of the faculty, when only about twenty, in place of twenty-one years of age. Mr. Macfarlane practised there for several years, but entertaining the ambition of
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