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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


23 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. VII. LORD GARDENSTONE. MR. FRANCIS GARDEN, judicially denominated Lord Gardenstone, was distinguished as a man of some talent and much eccentricity. Born in 1721, the second son of it Banffshire gentleman, he chose the profession of an advocate, and was admitted a member of Faculty upon the 14th of July 1744, On the 3d of July 1764, he was raised to the Bench. Re is here represented in the latter part of life, as he usually appeared in proceeding from his house at Morningside (the one next the Asylum), to attend his duties in the Court. Kay has endeavoured to represent him as, what he really was, a very timid horseman, mounted, moreover, on a jaded old hack, which he had selected for its want of spirit, preceded by his favourite dog Smash; and followed by a Highland boy, whose duty it was to take charge of his Rosinante on arriving at the Parliament House. In early life, Mr. Garden participated largely in the laxities of the times. He was one of those ancient heroes of the bar, who, after a night of hard drinking, without having been to bed, and without having studied their causes, would plead with great eloquence upon the mere strength of what they had picked up from the oratory of the opposite counsel.‘ In 1745, being in arms as a loyal subject, he was despatched by Sir John Cope, with another gentleman, to reconnoitre the approach of the Highland army from Dunbar. As the two volunteers passed the bridge of Musselburgh, they recollected a house in that neighbourhood where they had often regaled themselves with oysters and sherry, and the opportunity of repeating the indulgence being too tempting to be resisted, they thought no more of their military duty till a straggling Highland recruit entered and took them both prisoners. John Roy Stnart made a motion to hang them as spies ; but their drunkenness joined so effectually with their protestations in establishing their innocence, that they were soon after liberated on parole? In his more mature years, Lord Gardenstone distinguished himself by a benevolent scheme of a somewhat unusual kind. Having, in 1762, purchased the estate of Johnstone, in Kincardineshire, he devoted himself for some years to At one time there seems to have been a speculation set on foot to provide a convenient place for vyk.shing the members of the College of Justice ; for in the minutes of the Faculty of Advocates, 13th February 1741, there is au entry relative to a petition presented to the Dean and Faculty by Jaines Balfour of Forrett, stating that he intended to build a coffee-house adjoining to the west side of the Parliament House, “for the conveniency and accommodation of the members of the College of Justice, and of the Senators of Couit,” and that he was anxious for the patronage of the Society. He also men* tioned that he had petitioned the judges, who had unanimously approved of the project. A remit was made to the curators of the library, and to Messrs. Cross and Barclay, to consider the petition, and report whether it should be granted ; but nothing appears to have been done by the committee. a Lord Rain- once took it upon him to reprove his brother judge for his love of the fair- “Gang to the deil, my lord I ” was the rejoinder ; “ my fauts aye grow the langer the less ; but yours (alluding to his parsimony) aye the lnnger the waur.”
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