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History of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen online

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following among other considerations : —

(1) Experience has already shown that there must be a considerable
risk and very great inconvenience in the frequent removal of prisoners
backward and forward between the Jail and the places for examination
and trial — particularly at the Circuit Courts of Justiciary such removals
could not be attempted without the aid of the military — which, at times,
it may not be possible to procure. (2) The inconvenience to Sheriffs,



Magistrates, Agents and all others (whether in behalf of the public or of
the prisoners themselves) whose duty it is to attend precognitions and
the multifarious and daily examinations of prisoners, civil as well as
criminal, at such a distance from the centre of the town, is inconceivable
and can scarcely be known except by those who from their official or
professional duties have been obliged to experience it. It may perhaps
be said that this might be obviated by having the prisoners brought from
the Jail and examined at the Courthouse, which would in the course of
investigating crimes be often absolutely necessary, particularly in the
identifying of prisoners, as well as of stolen property. That the idea
of an unfortunate civil debtor being paraded through the public streets,
perhaps in irons, is quite revolting — but it is likewise to be attended to
that persons committed for debt could not be removed on any account
or for any purpose from the Jail without rendering the Magistrates liable
for the debt. (3) The additional annual expense which must be
occasioned both to Town and County in consequence of having the Jail
and Courthouse so remote from each other is no trifling consideration —
for, by keeping up the old Prison as a Lock-up-house, or place of
temporary confinement, a measure which would be indispensably
necessary, an extra Jailor or Servant must be employed and paid for,
and the expense of removing Prisoners backward and forward before
and after trial (even supposing the Sheriffs, Magistrates, &c, were to be
obliged to submit to the same drudgery which they have hitherto
experienced) would in the most economical way possible amount to a
very considerable sum yearly. That these objections and others con-
tained in said Memorial were distinctly foreseen and repeatedly urged
previous to the passing of the Act 59, George III., and the expediency of
having the Jail and Courthouse in some centrical situation and contiguous
to one another was universally admitted and even acted upon, at different
meetings of the Town and County. It is hoped, however, that it is not
too late to retract, and that, as no progress has yet been made in the
erection of a new Jail, the Commissioners will pause before proceeding
to the [building] in a situation liable to so many objections, and after
considering the subject in all its bearings, endeavour to find the means
of erecting it on the area of ground behind the Courthouse, where it is
presumed every requisite accommodation, joined with convenience and
economy to all concerned, could at once be obtained . . .

extracts from minutes. 67

25 June 1824.

The President stated that he called the Meeting for the purpose of
considering the propriety of showing some mark of respect to the
Remains of Mr. Moir of Scotstown, late Sheriff of the County. The
Integrity and Talents of Mr. Moir as a Judge and his virtues as a
Gentleman being imprinted on the minds of every Member of this
Society, he felt that any Eulogium from him would be quite superfluous.
The Proposition therefore which he begged to move was that the
Members shall assemble in a Body in full Mourning tomorrow at one
o'clock and join the Funeral Procession opposite to King's College and
accompany it from thence to St. Peter's Churchyard, the Place of
Interment. The Motion was seconded by Mr. Crombie and unanimously
adopted by the Meeting.

2 July 1824.

Committee reported the purchase on behalf of the Society of the
Fourteenth lot of the Lands of Belhelvie. Approved.

18 March 1831.
Agreed to petition in favour of Parliamentary Reform.

8 September 1834.

Agreed to present an address to the Lord Chancellor in the following
terms — " Unto the Right Honourable the Lord Brougham and Vaux,
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, &c, — We, the President and
Society of Advocates in Aberdeen, Incorporated by Royal Charter, beg
on this occasion to join with our fellow Citizens in expressing the high
gratification which is afforded to us by your Lordship's visit to Aberdeen.
We assure your Lordship of the profound respect in which we hold your
exalted public station and your personal distinguished talents and
extensive acquirements. We gratefully acknowledge the philanthropic,
assiduous and useful exertions uniformly made by your Lordship as a
Member of the Commonwealth, for the education, instruction and general
advantage of your Countrymen. We have an entire reliance upon your
Lordship's anxious desire to execute faithfully and for the public welfare
the powers which devolve upon you as the first legal Functionary in the


Kingdom, as a Minister of the Crown, and a Member of the Legislature,
for which your abilities, both natural and acquired, so eminently fit you.
And we sincerely wish that your Lordship may, by a continuation of the
wise and patriotic discharge of your high functions, live long and happy
in the confidence of your King, and in the esteem of your Country."

29 November 1836.

. . . Mr. Lumsden, the President, then reported to the Meeting, in
order that the same may appear recorded in the Minutes, that according
to what had been previously resolved on at a General Meeting, he and
the Treasurer had this morning laid the foundation stone of the first
dressed course of the Society's New Building in Union Street [at corner
of Back Wynd], in presence of James Milne, Esquire, Lord Provost of
Aberdeen, and a numerous body of the Members of the Society. That
there was enclosed in the Stone a large Glass Bottle, made purposely at
a Glass Work at Leith, containing the following articles, viz. : —

Aberdeen Observer of 7th October, 1836.

Aberdeen Herald of 26th November, 1836.

Edinburgh Evening Courant of 20th October, 1836.

Aberdeen Journal of 23rd November, 1836.

List of Members of Society, November, 1836.

List of Members of Society, Subscribers for New Hall, Nov., 1836.

Copy Charter of Society, dated 8th May, 1799, and sealed at Edin-
burgh 10th May, 1799 — and Regulations, dated 19th June, 1799,
and 22nd September, 1825. (Printed copies.)

Aberdeen Almanack for 1836.

Aberdeen Journal of 5th October, 1836.

Times Newspaper of 22nd November, 1836.


Crown Piece, Geo. IV., 1821.

Half Crown Piece, William IV., 1834.

Shilling Piece, William IV., 1836.

Sixpence Piece, William IV., 1836.

Fourpence Piece, William IV., 1836.

Penny Piece, William IV., 1831.

Halfpenny Piece, William IV., 183 1.

Farthing Piece, William IV., 1831.

extracts from minutes. 69

10 July 1837.

Address of Condolence adopted for transmission to the Queen
Dowager, as also an Address to Her Majesty Queen Victoria on her
accession to the Throne.

16 October 1837.

Agreed to take part in the procession and ceremony at laying the
foundation stone of the New Buildings for Marischal College.

10 JULV 1839.

Agreed to Petition the House of Commons in favour of the uniform
penny postage scheme presently before the House.

18 February 1840.

Address to the Queen and Prince Albert on the occasion of their
marriage, adopted.

18 June 1840.

Addresses to the Queen and Prince Albert on the occasion of an
attempt upon their lives, adopted.

24 November 1840.

Addresses to the Queen and Prince Albert on the auspicious birth of
a Princess Royal of England, adopted.

3 May 1841.

Resolved to Petition Parliament against any alterations being made
in the present system of Banking in Scotland.

19 May 1841.

The Sub-Committee reported that they had prepared a manuscript
Catalogue of the Books in the Library, and the meeting authorised the
printing of the Catalogue.

yo society of advocates in aberdeen.

18 June 1841.

Agreed by a majority : —

I. That this Society regrets the recent proceedings of the General
Assembly in regard to the majority of the Presbytery of Strathbogie, as
being in direct opposition to the law of the Country, destructive of the
Established Church of Scotland, and oppressive and tyrannical towards
the Clergymen composing that Majority, in whom obedience to the law
is construed into Crime.

II. That, highly approving of the conduct of the majority of the
Presbytery of Strathbogie, and strongly condemning the illegal pro-
ceedings of the Assembly, the Society conceives that the Presbytery's
majority merit the countenance and support of all by whom the law and
the constituted authorities of the Land are respected, and so are entitled
to the Society's warmest sympathy.

And the Society accordingly direct that these Resolutions be com-
municated to each of the Eight Clergymen, composing the majority of
the said Presbytery ; to the law officers of the Crown in Scotland ; and
to the members of both houses of Parliament connected with the city
and county.

17 November 1841.

Addresses to Her Majesty and Prince Albert on the occasion of the
birth of an Heir Apparent to the British Throne, adopted.

17 June 1842.

Address to Her Majesty expressing abhorrence of the late atrocious
attempt upon the life of Her Majesty, and the Society's sincere joy at
Her Majesty providential escape from the danger in which she was
placed, adopted.

26 August 1842.

Addresses to the Queen and Prince Albert on the occasion of their
visit to Scotland, adopted.

22 March 1845.

Agreed to Petition Parliament against Interference with the Scotch
Banking system.

extracts from minutes. 7 i

16 October 1846.

Agreed to restrict the half yearly money terms to 20th June and
20th December of each year instead of extending or spreading out the
transactions of the Aberdeen money terms over four days in each half
year as formerly observed.

18 January 1847.

Agreed to memorialise the Lord Advocate to takes measures for
procuring a law to enforce more complete and accurate Registration of
Births, Deaths and Marriages in Scotland.

17 February 1847.

Tribute to the memory of the late Andrew Murray of Murrayshall,
who for twenty-four years had acted as Sheriff of Aberdeenshire, adopted.

22 March 1847.

Agreed to entertain to Dinner as a mark of respect, John Thomson
Gordon, Advocate, on his appointment as Sheriff Depute of the County.

20 July 1847.

Report submitted that there had been purchased on behalf of the
Society the lands of Hill-Cairnie in the parish of Skene, extending to
about 1037 acres, of which 558 acres are arable and 228 acres are wood.

3 April 1848.

Agreed to entertain to Dinner as a mark of respect, Archibald
Davidson, Advocate, on his appointment as Sheriff of the County.

11 January 1855.

Resolutions arrived at approving of the Union of the Universities
of Aberdeen.

2 June 1858.

Petition against the Universities (Scotland) Bill, adopted.

72 society of advocates in aberdeen.

25 January 1859.

The Society being of opinion that ha consequence of the great
increase of business in the Sheriff Court, the appointment of an addi-
tional Sheriff Substitute at Aberdeen is imperatively necessary it was
agreed to memorialise the Sheriff and the Lords of the Treasury craving
such appointment.

10 May 1859.

The following arguments were urged for the appointment of an
additional Sheriff Substitute,— (1) That the Sheriff Substitute of the
Aberdeen district of the County of Aberdeen is charged with a greater
amount of labour than any Judge can perform with justice to the public
interests, and greater than is required from any other Judge in Scotland.
(2) That there is no adequate provision for the discharge of the duties
of Sheriff Substitute at Aberdeen, either in Civil or Criminal business,
during his necessary absence from the City, or if he. should be incapaci-
tated by sickness. (3) That it is therefore " essentially necessary for the
public service" that an additional Sheriff Substitute, resident in Aber-
deen, should be appointed. (I) There are at present two Sheriff Substi-
tutes for the County of Aberdeen, with a district assigned to each. One
of them is resident in Aberdeen, the other in Peterhead. The population
under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff Substitute in Aberdeen, amounted,
according to the census of 185 1, to 167,781, and it is now supposed to
amount to nearly 200,000. The population of the entire County in 1851
was 212,032 ; its area is 1970 square miles. . . . The only Counties
having larger populations than Aberdeen, although spread over com-
paratively trifling areas, are Edinburgh and Lanark. The former with a
population of 259,435, and an area of 399 square miles, has a Sheriff
and three Substitutes all resident in the Capital. Lanark has a popula-
tion of 530,169; its area is 987 square miles. The Sheriff, as in Edin-
burgh, is resident, and has six Substitutes. Every County in Scotland,
with a population of 80,000 (or less than one-half of the population of
the Aberdeen district of the County) has two Sheriff Substitutes. . . .

The Civil and Criminal business of the Court at Aberdeen has
increased year by year until the Sheriff Substitute, though eminently
prompt and quick in the despatch of business, declares himself unable
longer to discharge the duties, and has applied for the assistance of an


additional Substitute. This great increase has arisen through the rapid
development of the trade, commerce and agriculture of the district, and
also through the additional duties which by recent legislative enactments
have been devolved upon the Sheriff Substitute. A large portion of his
time is now occupied in taking proofs, all of which were formerly taken
by Commission. . . .

No sensible relief would be given by the division of the Aberdeen
district into two with a Sheriff Substitute for each. By far the greater
part of the business arises in the City of Aberdeen and its populous
neighbourhood. In Aberdeen the country shopkeepers and tradesmen
purchase their goods, the farmers dispose of the most of their produce,
and the factors of the landed Proprietors are mostly resident. The
County population having thus frequent occasion to transact business in
the City, can go there with less inconvenience and with greater facility
than to towns in the County much nearer their residence. Aberdeen-
shire has only one chief town, and from it the whole turnpike roads of
the Country radiate up the valleys of the Dee and the Don, through the
Strath of the Garioch, and to Huntly, Turriff, etc. Railway and tele-
graphic lines already made, or in course of formation, connect all these
districts and places with Aberdeen. These valleys running inland from
Aberdeen, have no communication with each other, but by cross roads,
always difficult for vehicles, often impracticable in winter, and unprovided
with public conveyances.

26 December 1861.

Address of Condolence to Her Majesty Queen Victoria on the death
of the Prince Consort, adopted.

30 December 1861.

Agreed to give from the Society's lands of Mardyke, adjoining King
Street, a feu of about i| acres for the purpose of erecting a Militia Depot.

24 February 1863.

Agreed that the Society's Hall, like the other Public Buildings of the
City, should be illuminated on the evening of 10 March prox. being the
day of the marriage of the Prince of Wales.


74 society of advocates in aberdeen.

16 January 1866.

Tribute passed on the retirement of Mr. William Watson, who for
upwards of thirty-six years had acted as Sheriff Substitute.

3 September 1867.

Property in Concert Court, Broad Street, having been acquired for the
purpose of erecting thereon a new Hall and Library for the Society,
Mr. Matthews to-day submitted plans thereof.

21 May 1869.

Amended plans by Mr. Matthews submitted and remitted to a Sub-
Committee for consideration.

8 November 1870.

Resolutions of condolence and regret at the death of Mr. Andrew
Jameson, Sheriff of Aberdeen and Kincardine, adopted.

12 November 1870.

Resolution to memorialise the Government to appoint Mr. John
Comrie Thomson, Sheriff Substitute, as Sheriff, passed.

June 1873.

Property in Union Street, at corner of Back Wynd, which had
formed the Advocates' Hall and Library, sold to Lockhart and Salmond,
Confectioners, etc.

23 August 1876.

Memorial adopted for presentation to the Home Secretary craving
that through the recent death of Mr. Christian, who had held the office
of Sheriff and Commissary Clerk of Kincardineshire, the office might be
abolished and the duty transferred to the Sheriff Clerk of Aberdeen,
thus completing the judicial amalgamation of the two Counties.


1549-191 1


Admission — Date of admission to the Society is given on the same line as
the member's name.

App. — Apprentice.

Children — Where names of children are given the sons take the first place and
the daughters the second.

Educational Notes —

Aberd. — The University of Aberdeen.

Alumnus — Alumnus in Arts (i.e., a student who did not proceed to a degree

in Arts).
Cantab. — The University of Cambridge.
Edinb. — The University of Edinburgh.
Glasg. — The University of Glasgow.

King's Coll. — The University and King's College of Aberdeen.
Mar. Coll. — The Marischal College and University of Aberdeen.
Oxon. — The University of Oxford.
St. And. — The University of St. Andrews.

Spelling — The forms of spelling of names and places in use during the individual
memberships have been followed so far as possible.

Writer — The equivalent of the modern' term Law Agent.


Abel, Alexander. 1st August, 1840.

Son of Alexander Abel, farmer, Auquherton, Kintore. Born at
Kintore. Alumnus, Mar. Coll., 1832-35, being first bursar. App.
to William Adam and Alexander Anderson (Adam & Anderson).
Sometime in partnership with Duncan Forbes (1839), firm being
Forbes & Abel. Membership ceased 1854. Emigrated to
Australia, and subsequently practised in Sydney as an Attorney.

Died, at Sydney, August, i860.

Abercrome, John. 1557.

Abernethy, John. 1576.

Probably the Sheriff Depute of Aberdeenshire who, on 23rd June, 1 584,
sat along with Sir Patrick Gordoun of Auchindoun, and two
others. »

Adam, George. 22nd July, 1670.

Son of Hendrie Adam, shoemaker and heritor in Old Aberdeen.
Alumnus, King's Coll., 1656-60. App. to William Melville (1658).
Notary Public. Guild burgess of Aberdeen, admitted 23rd Sept.,
1670, and honorary burgess of Old Aberdeen, 24th July, 1671.
Joint Clerk of the Town Council of Old Aberdeen, appointed
19th November, 1692. Married Jean Irving (died 31st March,
1702 2 ), dau. of a guild burgess. In 1696, resident in Old
Aberdeen, with his wife and two children. 3

' Littlcjuhn's '* Sheriff Court Records," I., pp. 325 and 460.
2 Old Machar Burial Ke^islers. 3 Poll Book, II., p. 591.


Adam, Robert. 13th November, 1851.

Eldest son of William Adam, farmer, Buss, Banchory-Ternan, and
Elizabeth Stephen, his wife. Born at Buss, 31st August, 181 1.
Educated at Parish School, Banchory-Ternan ; M.A., King's Coll.,
March, 1829. App. to William Adam (Adam & Anderson).
For some time a procurator before the Sheriff Court of Banff-
shire, and agent for the North of Scotland Bank at Macduff. *
Relinquished all Banffshire appointments prior to admission to
Society. 1 Married, 28th July, 1842, Barbara Gordon (died at
Aberdeen, 14th Sept., 1879), dau. of James Oswald, shipmaster,
Aberdeen. 2

Died s.p. at Aberdeen, 15th January, 1868.

Adam, Robert 5th March, 1909.

Eldest son of William Adam, farmer, Bush, Banchory-Ternan, and
Margaret Ross, his wife. Born at Bush, 17th April, 1879. Edu-
cated at Public Schools, Crathes and Banchory-Ternan ; M. A.,
Aberd., 1900 ; B. L. (with honours), 1902. App. to John
Thomson and James Ross (Adam, Thomson & Ross). Partner
of Adam, Thomson & Ross since January, 1909. Treasurer of
the Burgh of Banchory. Second Lieutenant, 7th Batt. Gordon
Highlanders (T.F.).

Adam, William. 12th July, 1790.

App. to Hary Lumsden (1778). Sometime writer in Edinburgh. 3
Town Clerk of Inverury from 1797 to 1805. 4 Married Elizabeth
(died 6th April, 1829), dau. of Andrew Jopp, Insch, with issue
two sons and three daughters, the last survivor of whom was
Janet Margaret. 5

Died, at Aberdeen, 25th May, 1805, 6 a g e d 36.

1 MS. Records of Society. 2 Aberdeen Sasine Register.

3 Dr. Littlejohn's MS. Notes, which bear further that Adam took the oath of allegiance,
etc., to George III., 14th July, 1790.

4 Davidson's " Inverurie and Earldom," p. 480. 5 Ibid.

6 Adam had sasine to tenement and shop on the east side of Gallowgate, 20th June, 1803.
"Aberdeen Sasine Register."


Adam, William. 15th May, 1818.

Second son of Andrew Adam, farmer, Easter Beltie, Kincardine O'Neil,

and Seivwright, his wife. Born at Easter Beltie, 15th March,

1793. Educated at Parish School, Kincardine O'.Neil ; M.A.,
King's Coll., 26th April, 1813. App. to Hugh Fullerton (1804).
Partner of Adam x & Anderson from 1830 to 1866, and of Adam,
Thomson & Ross from 1866 to 1881. Notary Public. Fiars Juror,
seventeen times, 1834-65. Director, North of Scotland Bank
and Northern Assurance Coy. Sometime proprietor of estates
of Ranna in Cromar ; Buxburn, Newhills ; and of Easter Beltie
from 1874.

Died, unmarried, at Aberdeen, 28th April, 1881.

Adam, William. 28th July, 1835.

Only son of Alexander Adam, cartwright, Skene Street, Aberdeen,
and Isobel Aberdein, his wife. Born at Aberdeen. Alumnus,
Mar. Coll., 1826-28. App. to James Grant (1803). Membership
ceased November, 1854. Married, and was survived by his wife
and a daughter. The latter died at Inverurie, 19th February, 1885.

Died, at Glasgow, 8th April, 1867, aged 56.2

Alcock, Robert. 13th November, 1818.

Son of Rev, Alexander Alcock, minister of St. Paul's Episcopal Chapel,
Aberdeen, and Barbara Trail, his wife. Born, at Aberdeen, 7th
August, 1796. Alumnus, Mar. Coll., 1809-11. App. to Lewis
Nicoll (1804). Sometime in partnership with John Lumsden
Shirrefs (1818), firm being Shirrefs & Alcock. Fiars Juror, 1834.
Membership ceased November, 1844.

Alexander, George. 1700.

1 He was a keen agriculturist, and the introducer of the sub-soil system of drainage in
Aberdeenshire. Carnie's "Reporting Reminiscences," II., p. 11. The firm of Adam and
Anderson engaged energetically in the promotion of Railways converging on Aberdeen, and
also in the formation of Public Companies in Aberdeen. See Anderson, Alexander (1827).

2 Tombstone, Nellfiekl Cemetery.


Alexander, John. 1 Before May, 1643.

Son of Robert Alexander, heritor of the sunny half lands of Boigholl. 2
Married Marjory, 3 eldest dau. of George Jamesone, the painter,
with issue, of whom George, the second son, was admitted guild
burgess 26th September, 1676.

Died before 26th June, 1663. 4

Alexander, John. 29th January, 1752.

App. to John Forbes (1739). Burgess of Aberdeen. Fiars Juror, 1752.

Married Katherine Forbes (died October, 1772 5 ), widow of the

said John Forbes. 6 See Forbes, John (1739).
Died between February, 1757, and October, 1772.

Allan, Alexander. 10th July, 1810.

Son of Alexander Allan, brick and tile manufacturer, Old Aberdeen.
M.A., Mar. Coll., 1806. App. to Alexander Crombie (1789).
Sometime Joint Legal Assessor and Clerk to the Incorporated
Trades of Aberdeen. Prominent Freemason. Guild burgess of
Aberdeen, admitted 29th December, 1814, and honorary burgess
of Old Aberdeen, admitted April, 1823. Went to Canada, where
acted as District Superintendent of Schools, which voided 1st
January, 1850, through the abolition of the office. Subsequently
was Superintendent of Schools for Township of Waterloo and
Woolwich, as also Town Clerk of Preston, Canada. Married at
Burnside, 7th October, 1824, Ann (died at Salem, Canada West,

'Not in Kennedy's List. - Littlejohn's " Sheriff Court Records," III., p. 15.

3 On 26th June, 1663, Marjory Jamesone, as "relict of the late Mr. John Alexander,
advocate," had a tack from Marischal College, for a term of 76 years, of the croft called
the White Friars yards, at a rent of 43 merks Scots. Anderson's "Aberdeen Friars," p. 118.

Online LibraryJohn Alexander HendersonHistory of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen → online text (page 9 of 45)