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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


370 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. CCXCIV. SIR WILLIAM MACLEOD -BANKATYNE (LORD BANNATYNE). SIR WILLIAMB ANNATYNtEhe, son of Roderick hlacleod, W.S., was born on the 26th of January 1743, 0. S., and admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 17 65. His father’s professional avocations procured him the important advantage of obtaining considerable practice upon his first entry to the bar. Through his mother he succeeded to the valuable property of Kames in the island of Bute, assuming at the same time the name of Bannatyne j but, being of a gay and easy disposition, he had not been many years in possession, when he found himself under the necessity of parting with his estate, which was purchased by James Hamilton, W.S.’ On the death of Lord Swinton, in 1799, Sir William was promoted to the bench, when he assumed the title of Lord Bannatyne, His conduct as a judge was upright and impartial j and most assuredly the ‘‘ old compend ” of Scots law, as it used to be termed, of ‘‘ Show me the man and I’ll show you the law,” found no favour in his eyes. On his retirement in 1833, he had the honour of knighthood conferred on him.2 Sir William, in early life, was one of the society of gentlemen in Edinburgh who projected and published the once celebrated periodical works, entitled the “ Mirror ” and “ Lounger.” He was an intimate friend of Henry M‘Kenzie, Lords Craig and Cullen, and other distinguished literary characters of that period. He was greatly attached to literature; and those hours he could spare from his laborious duties as a judge were devoted to studies more congenial to his disposition. It is singular that, although as a speaker he was perspicuous and distinct, his judicial remarks, when put in writing by himself, were exceedingly involved and confused. Parenthesis within parenthesis was perpetual, and his sentences never seemed to have any termination. With all this, however, be it remarked, his decisions were sound, and his legal opinions had always due weight with his brethren. Sic Williani’s father was understood to be pretty wealthy, but most of his substance, we believe, was inherited by his son, Mr. Macleod of Muiravonside. In the new edition of Sir Walter Scott’s Prose Works, vol. iv. p. 4, he is erroneously represented as having been created a baronet. In the note in which this is mentioned a still more serious mistake has been committed, in terming Itr. George Hume ‘‘ Lord Wedderburn.” Mr. Hume was proprietor of the estate of Wedderburn, in Berwickshire, the ancient seat of that once powerful border family, but wa8 never raised to the bench, having been contented with the less dignified, but more comfortable, situation of one of the Priucipal Clerks of Session.
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Volume 9 Page 493
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