Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. i l The foreign correspondence of Sir John was extensive. The fame of his works, and the intimacies he had formed during his tours, created great demands on his time. He held no less than twenty-five diplomas from institutions in France, Flanders, Prussia, Austria, Saxony, Wurtemberg, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Italy, the United States, and the West Indies. With Presidents Washington, Jefferson, and Adams he had frequent and interesting communications, as well as with almost every person of note in the old world; while few foreigners of any distinction visited Scotland without letters of introduction to him. “ In person, Sir John Sinclair was tall and spare ; and even in his advanced years he was remarkable for the elasticity of his gait and erect carriage. From his characteristic orderly habits, he was exceedingly neat in his dress ; and he is said to have been, in youth, distinguished for his manly beauty. In the private walks of life, and in the exercise of the domestic virtues, he was a perfect model of the Christian gentleman, and with perhaps as few of the faults and frailties inherent in poor human nature, as almost ever falls to the share of an individual. He set a noble example to the world of intellectual activity uniformly directed from almost boyhood to extreme old age.”’ NO. cxcm. LORD STONEFIELD. JOHN CAMPBELL, son of Archibald Campbell, Esq., of Stohefield, many years Sheriff-Depute of the shires of Argyle and Bute, was admitted to the bar in 1748, and elevated to the bench in 1762, when he assumed the title of Lord Stonefield. In 1787 he succeeded Lord Gardenstone as a Lord of Justiciary. This latter appointment he resigned in 1702, but he retained his seat on the bench till his death, which took place upon the 19th of June 1801, having By his first marriage, Sir John had two daughters-Hannah, authoress of a popular work on the principles of [email protected] faith, and whose memoirs are well known ; and Janet, married to the late Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, Baronet. By his second he had a large family-leaving at his death, the Hon. Lady Sinclair with six sons and five daughters. The eldest, Sir George, was, during twenty-six years, Member of Parliament for the county of Caithness ; Alexander, formerly of the H.EI.C.S., resided in Edinburgh ; John, M.A. and F.R.S.E., author of “Dissertations Vindicating the Church of England ”-an “ Essay on Church Patronage ’I-“ Memoirs of the Life and Works of Sir John Sinclair,” etc., was one of the ministers of St. Paul’s Chapel, York Place ; Archibald, a Captain in the Royal Navy ; William, Rector of Pulborough ; and Godfrey, the youngest son, was for some time engaged in the office of a Writer to the Signet. Of the danghtem, one married George fourth Earl of Glasgow ; another Stair Stewart, Esq., of Glasserton and Phpgill ; and Misses Diana, Margaret, and Catherine, remained unmarried. The last-named, Catherine, was the well-known authoress of “ Scotland and the Scotch,” “ Modern Accomplishments,” and numerous other works. She died in 1864, and a monument waa erected to her memory in St. Colme Street, Edinburgh. 1 John, afterwards Archdeacon of Middlesex and Vicar of Kensington, NBS the author of “Sketches of Old Times and Distant Places,” published in 1875, in which year he also died.
Volume 9 Page 94
  Enlarge Enlarge  
73 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. been thirty-nine years a Judge of the Supreme Court. It is somewhat remarkable that he and his two immediate predecessors occupied the same seat on the bench for a period of ninety years; Lord Ropton having been appointed a judge in 1710, and Lord Tinwald in 1744. By his wife, Lady Grace Stuart, daughter of James second Earl of Bute, and sister of the Prime Minister, John the third Earl, his lordship had seven sons, all of whom predeceased him. The second of these was Lieutenant- Colonel John Campball, whose memorable defence of Mangalore, from May 1783 to January 1784, arrested the victorious career of Tippoo Sultan, and shed a lustre over the close of that calamitous war. Lord Stonefield resided at one time in Elphinstone’s Court, and latterly in George Square. Of his lordship’s professional history no record has been preserved. As a scholar, his attainments were considerable, and as a judge, his decisions were marked by conciseness of expression and soundness of judgment. He was a zealous and liberal supporter of every scheme tending to promote the welfare and improvement of his native country. No. cxcv. JOHN HOME, ESQ., OF NINEWELLS. JOHHNO MEo, r HUME,o f Ninewells (for they are truly the same name) was the elder and only brother of Da,vid Hume, the historian.’ They were the children of Joseph Home of Ninewells and Catherine Falconer, who was a daughter of Sir David Falconer, Lord President of the College of Justice. There were two subjects of playful controversy between the historian and his kind friend John Home, author of the Tragedy of Douglas, etc. One waa about the preference of port or claret as the better liquor. David was an advocate for port ; John was strenuous for the honour of claret, aa the approved and genuine beverage of the old Scottish gentleman, in untaxed times, before the union of the kingdoms. The other controversy related to the just spelling of the surname, Home or Hum. David inclined, though with due temperance, for Hume, for which he found authority in the inscription on an old tombstonr, and in some other memorials of past times. John rejected this opinion of David’s as heterodox, and stood up stoutly on all occasions aa the hed of the How faction. With reference to these two matters, the historlan, in a codicil to his settlement, written with his own hand, expresses himself as follows :-‘‘ I leave to my friend John Home of Kilduff ten dozen of my old claret, at his choice, and one single bottle of that other liquor, called port. I also leave to him six dozen of port, provided that he attests, under his hand, signed John Humq that he haa himself alone finished that bottle at two sittinge. By this concession, he will at once terminate the only two differences that ever arose between as concerning temporal mattera.” This writing ie preeerved, but not entered on record. Mr. Humo died on the 25th of the same month. On one occasion, David jocularly proposed to John, that they should terminate the controvenry about the name, by casting lots. “Nay, Mr. Philosopher,” said John (for so he often addressed him), “that is a most extraordinary proposal indeed i for if you lose, you take your own name ; and if I lose, I take another man’s name.” It is dated 7th August 1776. He had for some weeka been io a condition of evident and increasing decay.
Volume 9 Page 95
  Enlarge Enlarge