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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 445 becoming a barrister, he at the same time prepared himself for admission to the Faculty of Advocates, by studying the Scotch and Civil Law, under the celebrated Professor Millar, in the University of Glasgow. Early imbibing Whig principles; and the French Revolution having split society in this country into so many parties, Mr. Macfarlane delayed following up his intention till 1804, when he removed to Edinburgh, and came to the bar in 1806. His practice was very considerable ; and, without swerving from his political principles, in which, however, he was always moderate, he at length realised iuch a competency: that, about the year 1832, when he had the misfortune of losing his wife, to whom he had been married above thirty years (by whom he had no family), he resolved to retire from farther public practice, which he had the satisfaction of doing, like the philosophic Hume, without ever having preferred a request to one great man, or even made advances to any of them. He died in 1839. XI1.-ARCHIBALD FLETCHER, author of “ An Examination of the Grounds on which the Convention of Royal Burghs claimed the right of Altering and Amending the Setts or Constitution of the Individual Burghs.” Edinburgh, 1825, 8vo. He was a native of Glenlyon, Perthshire, where he was born in 1745. His father, Angus Fletcher, was a younger brother of Archibald Fletcher, Esq. of Bernice and Dunans, in Argyleshire. He completed his apprenticeship, as a Writer to the Signet, with Mr. Wilson of Howden, who afterwards admitted him into partnership. While prosecuting his professional labours with equal zeal and success, he contrived to devote a considerable portion of time to classical and other studies, frequently encroaching on those hours that ought to have been given to rest; and at length, aspiring to the toga, he became, in 1790, at the age of forty-five, a member of the Faculty of Advocates. Naturally of a kind and generous disposition, he was on all occasions the friend of the oppressed, and the consistent advocate of freedom. Many years before he was himself known to have any view towards the bar, he effectually opposed, in a wellwritten argumentative pamphlet, addressed to the Society of Writers to the Signet, the adoption of a resolution by the Faculty of Advocates, prohibiting the admission of members above twenty-seven years of age-a resolution which would have irremediably operated to the exclusion of many industrious aspirants to legal eminence. Much about the same period he published an essay on Church Patronage-a subject at that time warmly debated in the Church Courts-and in which he of course advocated the popular side. In 1784, when Burgh Reform was first agitated in Scotland, he took an active part in the energetic measures then adopted. He was chosen secretary to the society formed in Edinburgh at the time; and, in 1787 was one of the delegatesdespatched to London by the Scottish Burghs. On his way to the metropolis Mr. Fletcher first met with the young lady who afterwards became his wife. They were married in ’1791 ; and though Mr. Fletcher was justly styled the father of Burgh Reform.
Volume 9 Page 594
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