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The book of Edinburgh anecdote
The Parliament House has always had a reputation for good anecdote. There are solid reasons for this. It is the haunt of men, clever, highly educated, well off, and the majority of them with an all too abundant leisure. The tyranny of custom forces them to pace day after day that ancient hall, remarkable even in Edinburgh for august memories, as their predecessors have done for generations. There are statues such as those of Blair of Avontoun and Forbes of Culloden, and portraits like those of Bluidy Mackenzie and Braxfield,all men who lived and laboured in the precincts,to recall and revivify the past, while there is also the Athenian desire to hear some new thing, to retail the last good story about Lord this or Sheriff that. So there is a great mass of material. Let me present some morsels for amusement or edification. Most are stories of judges, though it may be of them before they were judges. A successful counsel usually ends on the bench, and at the Scots bar the exceptions are rare indeed. The two most prominent that occur to one are Sir George Mackenzie and Henry Erskine. Now, Scots law lords at one time invariably, and still frequently, take a title from landed estate. This was natural. A judge was a person with some landed property, which was in early times the only property considered as such, and in Scotland, as everybody knows, the man was called after his estate. Monkbarns of the Antiquary is a classic instance, and it was only giving legal confirmation to this, to make the title a fixed one in the case of the judges. They never signed their names this way, and were sometimes sneered at as paper lords. To-day, when the relative value of things is altered, they would probably prefer their paper title. According to tradition their wives laid claim to a corresponding dignity, but James V., the founder of the College of Justice, sternly repelled the presumptuous dames, with a remark out of keeping with his traditional reputation for gallantry. He had made the carles lords, but wha the deil made the carlines leddies? Popular custom was kinder than the King, and they got to be called ladies, till a newer fashion deprived them of the honour. It was sometimes awkward. A judge and his wife went furth of Scotland, and the exact relations between Lord A. and Mrs. B. gravelled the wits of many an honest landlord. The gentleman and lady were evidently on the most intimate terms, yet how to explain their different names? Of late the powers that be have intervened in the ladys favour, and she has now her title assured her by royal mandate. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 69099
Author: Watt, Francis
Release Date: Oct 6, 2022
Publisher: T. N. Foulis
Publication Date: 1912
Publisher Country: United Kingdom
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