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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 445
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BI 0 GRAPH I GAL SKETCH E S. 317 cxxx. CAPTAIN JAMES JUSTICE OF JUSTICE HALL, AND A LADY IN THE COSTUME OF 1790. SIR JAMESJ USTICdeEsc,e nded from a family of that name in England, came to Scotland about the end of the seventeenth century, and held the office of Clerk to the Scottish Parliament. He acquired the estate of Crichton, with the celebrated castle, in the county of Edinburgh, which he left to his son, James Justice, Esq., who was one of the principal Clerks of the Court of Session. This gentleman was very fond of horticulture ; and was the author of a book entitled “Justice’s Scots Gardener ”-a work which, as the result of practical experience with reference to the soil and climate of Scotland, was formerly in great repute, and is still worthy of consultation. The author was so great an enthusiast in this favourite pursuit, that he spent large sums in importing foreign seeds, roots, and trees. The collecting of tulips being one of the fancies of his day, Nr. Justice was so deeply affected with the mania, that he has been known not to hesitate giving 350, or sometimes more,’ for a single rare tulip root. The extravagance of this propensity, with other causes, rendered it necessary for him to part with his estate of Crichton; and about the year 1735 it became the property of Mark Pringle, Esq.’ With the residue of the price of this large property Mr. Justice purchased some lands in the vicinity of the village of Ugston, or Oxton, in the parish of Channelkirk and county of Berwick, where he built a mansion-house, which he called Justice Hall-a name which it still retains. By his second marriage Mr. Justice left an only son (the subject of the Print), who was born about the year 1755 ; but at what period he succeeded his father is not exactly known. He entered the army as an officer in the marine service ; served abroad during the American war, and attained the rank of Captain. He was above six feet in height and well proportioned. His “he rage for tulips was, for a long series of years, peculiar to the Dutch, who used to give very large prices for single roots of a rare description. For a short period it was very prevalent in Britain, where a gentleman is reported to have given a thousand pounds for a black tulip-he being at the time the owner of another root of the same description. Upon making the purchase he put the root below hi heel and destroyed it, observing that nuw he was the possessor of the only black tulip in the world I ! ! a This gentleman killed William Scott of Raehurn, great grand-uncle of Sir Walter, in a duel. They fought with swords, aa was the fashion of the time, in a field near Selkirk, called, from the catastrophe, the Rseburn Meadow. Mr. Pringle fled to Spain, and was long a captive and slave in Barbary.-l;ockhart’s f i f e of Scott, p. 4, vol. i
Volume 8 Page 446
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