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SOME “UNCONSIDERED TRIFLES.". SIR ROBERT RUSSELL SIMPSON,
Many interesting pieces of parchment writWRITER TO THE SIGNET, EDINBURGH.
ings were sold by auction in Dowell's Rooms By the recent death of Sir R. R. Simpson, on the 20th November last. the legal profession in Edinburgh has lost a Among the miscellaneous collection of Crown well-known figure, an admirable lawyer of the Charters, Instruments of Sasine, and Notarial older school, and a most kindly and courteous Instruments, were some accounts and papers gentleman. There appeared in these columns which have a claim on the attention of the on 20th February 1915 a biography written legal profession. by one of Sir Robert's oldest friends : to that The Lord President of the Court of Session notice little falls
in 1670 is referred to be added, save
to in one of these that the passage
contemporary of a further ten
papers as debtor years saw his re
to Mr Andrew
Bruce, merchant, increasing and a
Edinburgh, in a well-deserved
sum of £2530, 2s. knighthood be
7d., less £962, 6s, stowed him.
8d. which, one Last year there
learns from an appeared a book
addendum to the from his pen on
bill, had been paid “The Monkrigg
subsequent to the Will Case," in
presentation of the which Sir Robert
account. took leading
Much of this part, and which
for forms most
clothes 'supplied, interesting story
but there are not to be preserved
sufficient data one's book
upon which to shelf.
the Lord PresiMR R. FREER
dent was prodigal MYLES, of J. &
in the purchase of A. W. Myles &
velvet and fine Co., W.S., National Bank Buildings, Forfar, linen, and negligent in paying for them, or intimates that he has assumed as partner, whether he was handicapped by the tastes of with effect from 1st January 1924, Mr George a large and expensive family. Alexander Roger, M.A., LL.B., W.S., and that The President in question, Sir John Gilmour, the name of the firm will remain unaltered. was then in ill-health, and probably about
seventy years old. His experience as MR R. SCOTT DEMPSTER, B.L., Writer to the advocate dated from 1628 to 1663, when he Signet, son of Mr Thomas Dempster, solicitor, was promoted Lord President, an office which Perth, of the firm of Robertson, Dempster & he held till the close of 1670, when he resigned Co., has been assumed a partner of that firm. because of his illness; he died in 1671. Had
the practice of writing reminiscences been MESSRS SNODY & ASHER, S.S.C. and N.P., prevalent in his day, he might have recounted intimate that they have removed from 13 how he began his career as a pleader in the old Bernard Street to more commodious premises Tolbooth, and was there twelve years when at 45 Charlotte Street, Leith.
the Courts were removed to the then new
Parliament House; and he certainly would convicted traitor, whose father and grandfather have recorded how in 1641 he had been counsel were merchants in Edinburgh. A small charter for the Marquis of Montrose in the Great Hall by Warriston's maternal grandfather, Sir John of Parliament House in the process brought Arnot of Birswick, as Lord Provost of the city, against him by Argyle and Johnston of regarding a toft in Leith in favour of Patrick Warriston; and how in 1663, as one of the Yooll, was another of the deeds that found a Members for the city, he had strongly but purchaser at this sale. vainly protested against the impeachment of There was also a petition by two Edinburgh Montrose's life-long enemy, Argyle.
merchants in 1652 to Oliver Cromwell's ComSir George Mackenzie contrasts Gilmour, missioners for Administering Justice in Scotland as advocate, with Sir John Nisbet, to whom for leave to disregard a decree against them in Gilmour was frequently opposed in debate : favour of George Barbour of Doulphistoun for “Penes Gilmorium gloria, penes Nisbetum a sum of 2000 merks. palma fuit.' What Gilmour lacked in legal The “Certificate, signed by Lord Cardross, learning he made up by virile common sense. of the death of the two brothers Sim, natives of
Sine litteris doctus, sine rhetorica eloquens." Eaglesham, who had been banished to Carolina," His collection of Decisions of the Court from is a relic of the Killing Times." 1661 to 1666 is a modest quarto volume of In accordance with the wishes of the Scottish 136 pages. Like the reports of other early Privy Council the King James VII. and II.reporters, the decisions, but not the opinions permitted the Scots authorities to transport all of the judges, are given. The arguments of the “less obnoxious” Covenanters—for whom pursuers and defenders, however, are always the overcrowded prisons held no room-to the clearly stated.
plantations. The slave ship“ The Carolina MerWhether the “ trifling balance due to Mr chant,” which was used for that purpose, took Bruce was ever paid there is, as one might nineteen weeks to make the journey. As it anticipate, no proof from the odd documents was not equipped for accommodating decently exhibited for sale.
so many passengers as were sent, it is hardly A much more serious misfortune to another surprising to learn that many of the unfortunate Edinburgh merchant is disclosed by a brief exiles died from the effects of their confinement. document which was also sold at Dowell's on The two brothers Sim died within four days of the same day. This was the “Order, signed by their landing. The Lord Cardross who signed Lauderdale, to pay Alexander Johnston, Mer- the certificate of death was a notable figure in chant Burgess of Edinburgh, the sum of £2359, the history of the Covenanting period. Im178. for cloth furnished by him for the use of prisoned for his Covenanting principles, deprived the Army in Ireland in March 1644.'
of his house and estates, Cardross gained the This Order ” seems to have been ineffective, ear of Charles II., who was about to restore him for, two years later, Johnston is found petition- to these. The Prívy Council, however, frusing King and Parliament, along with many trated the applicant's hopes by asserting that other unpaid merchants, for a settlement Cardross had misrepresented the facts. Emi
à [“ Acta Parl.," VI. (1) 602].
grating to America, he took over a plantation at Johnston appears to have been paid that Carolina (Charlestown) but was driven forth by debt; but he became involved later by the Spaniards. Proceeding thence to Holland, Carnon-payment of his business account for dross threw in his lot with Prince William of further plenishing of the Royal Forces in 1650. Orange, came over to England with William, He managed to subsist during the Common- raised a regiment of Dragoons, and fought wealth period, but his distress is marked soon against Viscount Dundee at Killiecrankie. With after the Restoration. From his prison in the the establishment of William and Mary on the Tolbooth of Edinburgh he wrote to the King 'throne Cardross's fortune was assured ; he was a pathetic appeal for payment of that long- reinstated in all his former estates, received standing account for the want of which he had fresh honours, but unfortunately did not live been unable to pay his creditors, who had in long to enjoy them. Weakened by all the consequence cast him into prison.
hardships of the Stewart period, he died in The King and his Parliament, whilst deeply 1693 at he age of forty-three. sympathising, did not pay but gave orders for Lord Cardross had one son, who became freeing Johnston from gaol and from further Earl of Buchan, and two famous grandsonsproceedings from his creditors—for the space Henry Erskine, Dean of the Faculty of Advoof three years.
cates, and Thomas Erskine, Lord Chancellor Let us hope the money was repaid.
C. A. M. It would have been interesting had it been possible to identify Johnston as a relative of Warriston, Lord of Session, Covenanter, and
NOTES FROM PARLIAMENT HOUSE.
unprofitable to practise at the bar" of any American ship just now.
However that may The sitting of the Valuation Appeal Court, be, we hope the Association will visit Scotland. coupled with the fact that two real proofs were American lawyers, when they travel, appear actually heard before two Lords Ordinary in to do so in large numbers, with a retinue of the same week, led to an unwonted appearance " their sisters, their cousins, and their aunts of animation in the Courts for a day or two. in attendance. Could we not take a leaf out Optimists even talked of a revival in business ; of their book? When the Faculty is freed from but the rolls are still jejune, and all is quiet, the burden of its general library, could a fund far too quiet, on the legal front. In fact, it not be raised for a combined visit to the kindred could hardly be an exaggeration to say that bodies of Brazil or Czecho-Slovakia ? The prothe principal interest (so to speak) of Parlia- ject is worth considering. ment Hall habitués this year has been the At the anniversary meeting the Faculty discussion of the legal personnel of the new appointed a committee on legal education. Government. There has been much wild In doing so, it was moving with the times and surmise on the subject, and it may be doubted if falling into line with other bodies. The day any senior of respectable eminence has been has long gone past when any thinking man can unmentioned in the course of speculation. It suppose that all the requisite elements of legal may, however, be authoritatively denied that education can be imparted by means of unia notice was exhibited in any part of the versity lectures plus a certain amount of routine building requesting all applicants for the office work in an office. It is still possible in this of Lord Advocate to submit their names to the country for a man to take a good degree in law subscriber on or before a certain date. One of and to be as little fitted for the profession as the most fancied ” candidates for the post on the day he entered a university. To make was a Glasgow solicitor ; indeed, by the time precept some assistance to practice, without these lines appear in print he may be the King's sacrificing the more scholastic value of legal Advocate ; others pinned their faith to Sheriff- studies (if any), will be the task of this Substitutes in various parts of the country, committee and others like it. while Unionist Liberal stalwarts
e are told that the following has appeared embarrassed to find themselves hailed in press in an esteemed contemporary under the heading organs as horny-handed sons of the revolution. of “ Recent Fiction": If a solicitor is appointed, can it be that“ fusion" Session Cases 1923.- We do not remember will be one of the new reforms which we are ever having had to review a more curious work eagerly awaiting? Meanwhile members of the than this. It is a book of short stories, arranged Scots Bar still hang back coyly from any under dates, but without regard to any logical official connection with Labour. When the sequence. The work has been edited by a new Scottish Secretary took his oaths on 26th number of gentlemen none of whose names we January, not even the most brazen of juniors was remember to have heard in the literary world. heard so much as to hum“ The Red Flag.' They appear to have done their work efficiently,
The gentlemen recently appointed counsel but the book would have been greatly benefited and agents for the poor will read with interest by a drastic reduction both of the number of the discussion which has been proceeding in stories, and, in many cases, of their length. In the leading Labour daily about the legal its present size the volume is so unwieldy that profession. The suggestion has more than once no one could read it, with comfort, in bed ; been made that there should be state-paid and that, we conceive, is the true criterion of remuneration for those who uphold the cause of such a work as this. the litigant in forma pauperis. The proposal The stories themselves are by a wide variety may sound attractive to junior members of the of authors. Detailed criticism of them is imposprofession, but is open to grave objections. In sible here, but in general it may be said that this connection it is interesting to note that the the plots are too often spoiled by a complete institution of poor's counsel is exactly five remoteness from the realities of life. Many are hundred years old-older in fact than the Court wildly improbable ; still more are, to a greater of Session or the office of Lord Advocate. In or lesser degree, unintelligible.
here seems 1424, under James I., it was ordained that to be a craze among present-day writers for “leal and wise" counsel should be appointed languages other than their own, and many of to assist poor suitors.
these stories are disfigured by inappropriate The American Bar Association is to cross the Latin quotations. The editors have had the Atlantic this year. Its members have, in fact, interesting and novel idea of prefacing each chartered the “Berengaria” for the purpose, story by a synopsis of its plot. This will this choice being due, according to one of the enable the reader to select the class of tales he Association's members, to the fact that it is wishes ; but these synopses should be used with
great caution, as they often prove to have proprietary club. It had never been assessed little or no connection with the story itself. to income tax and it had no receipts from
The price of the book is prohibitive for the anything in the nature of trade with persons general reader. We advise the editors, if they other than members. The club had received intend to continue publication, to curtail the an assessment to corporation profits tax of dimensions of their next number, and still £284, 4s. for 1920. The Special Commissioners more important—to look out for new authors discharged that assessment, but Rowlatt J. whose matter and manner will be more likely reversed that decision, holding that the Eccento commend them to the favourable attention tric Club carried on business similar to that of of the reading public."
a proprietary club, although the profits went to the members of the club and not to share
holders. The Eccentric Club appealed against DECISIONS IN THE ENGLISH this decision. Held that the company
not carry on a trade or business within the
meaning of the Finance Act, 1920, section 52, Attorney-General v. National Provincial and and was not therefore chargeable to corporation Union Bank of England Ltd.
profits tax. Decision of Rowlatt J. ( 2 K.B. 514; 1923, S.L.T. 127) reversed.-Court
of Appeal (Sir Ernest Pollock M.R., Warrington QUEST PATRIOTIC OR CHARITABLE”-AVOIDANCE.—Mr H. G. Tetley conveyed by will and Sargant L.JJ.).—17th December 1923.
, one-fifth of the residue of his estate to trustees, with the direction to devote and apply the same for such patriotic purposes or objects
Errata.-In the article by Sheriff Haldane
· Wholesale and such charitable institution or institutions,
Trafficker,” which or charitable object or objects in the British appeared in our issue of 19th January 1924, Empire as my trustees may in their absolute on page 23, the reference to the Finance Act discretion select, in such shares and proportions col. 2, of page 23, “ sale on the premises,” should
1920” should read “1910," and at line 18, as they shall think proper.'
Russell J. held that the bequest was invalid (1922, S.L.T. 191). read " sale for consumption on the premises” that the bequest was invalid (1922, S.L.T. 191). and at line 19, col. 2, of page 23,“ sale off the On appeal the Court of Appeal (Lord Sterndale M.R., Warrington and Younger L.JJ.) affirmed premises” should read “sale for consumption that decision. Held that the gift must be
off the premises. read disjunctively, and that the trust was void, as under the gift the trustees could apply Edinburgh of Mr A. J. F. Wedderburn, S.S.C.,
The death has taken place suddenly in the trust property for purposes some of which were charitable and some not. Decision of
senior partner of the firm of Messrs Alexander the Court of Appeal ( 1 Ch. 258; 1923, Morison & Co., W.S. Mr Wedderburn, who was a S.L.T. 51) affirmed. - House of Lords (Viscount native of Longside, Aberdeenshire, came to EdinCave L.C.
, Viscount Haldane, Viscount Finlay, burgh about thirty-eight years ago, and entered Lord Atkinson, and Lord Sumner). - 17th the office of the late Mr Alexander Morison, —
, S.S.C. In 1899 Mr Wedderburn was assumed December 1923.
a partner. The firm had always a good ParliaInland Revenue Commissioners v. Eccentric
ment House and general business, which was
greatly extended and developed by Mr WedderClub Ltd.
burn. He was a well-known figure in ParliaCORPORATION PROFITS
ment House, and will be greatly missed by a CARRYING ON ANY TRADE OR BUSINESS OR large circle of clients and by his professional ANY UNDERTAKING OF A SIMILAR CHARACTER brethren. --CLUB WHOSE INCOME AND PROPERTY WERE
THE death has occurred on Saturday last, at INTERCOURSE-FINANCE ACT, 1920 (10 & 11 a nursing home in Edinburgh, of Mr Alexander GEO. V. CAP. 18), SECTION 52.—The Eccentric Claude Montgomerie Bell, W.S., the eldest Club Ltd. (which was a British company) son of the late Mr J. M. Bell, W.S., of East was incorporated in 1912 for the purpose of Morningside House, Edinburgh, and grandson conducting a social club and to supply members of the late Professor Montgomerie Bell, whose with refreshments in the club-house. The writings on conveyancing are regarded as income and property of the club were to be standard works. Mr Bell studied at Edinapplied towards the promotion of social burgh University, where he graduated M.A. intercourse among the members. No member in 1892. Later he joined his father's firm of was entitled to receive any profit out of such Messrs Bell, Bannerman, & Finlay, W.S., and income or property.
The club was not a in 1901 he was admitted to the W.S. Society.
APPLIED TOWARDS THE PROMOTION OF SOCIAL
THE LATE MR IRVINE REID STIRLING, the direction of mining affairs, and indeed he
was acting as solicitor for the colliery owners
in connection with the Redding Pit enquiry It is with extreme regret that we record the at present going on. sudden death in Edinburgh on Monday last
of By his friends Irvine Stirling will especially Mr Irvine Reid Stirling, S.S.C., the senior be long remembered for his genial and courteous partner of the firm of Drummond & Reid, kindliness. Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
Mr Stirling leaves a widow and married Mr Stirling, who was in his sixty-third year, daughter, to whom the sincere sympathy of the was apparently in his ordinary health on Monday profession will be extended in their sudden morning, when he was at the office as usual. bereavement. He went home
A WELL-KNOWN at midday for
Gourock citizen, lunch, and at
Mr James Martended a busi
quis, solicitor, died ness consultation
suddenly at his in the afternoon,
residence, Alexreturning at 4.30.
andria, Barrhill in the
Road, on Saturcourse of dictating
day afternoon last. notes
Mr Marquis had the conference to
been in rather his stenographer,
indifferent health when he
for some time, but suddenly seized
was at business as with illness,
usual on Saturday which was under
forenoon. A stood to be of
partner of the the nature of an
firm of Messrs apoplectic shock.
Marquis & Millar, He expired in his
ock and Gourock, Mr Stirling's
Mr Marquis had death marks the
been Assessor at passing of another
Gourock Police of the older
Court since its school of Edin
inception. burgh lawyers, the Photo by]
[Balmain, Edinburgh. gaps in whose ranks have been all too frequent The death occurred on Saturday last, at his within the past few years.
residence in Tayport, of Mr John Simpson, of Mr Stirling was admitted an S.S.C. in 1889, the firm of Johnstone, Simpson & Thomson, and had a long association with the firm of solicitors, Commercial Street, Dundee. Mr Drummond & Reid, in whose office Viscount Simpson, who was in his seventy-third year, Haldane, at the beginning of his career, served was for many years Town-Clerk of Tayport, as Mr Stirling's junior for several years. a position in which he was succeeded by his son,
Though up till the end Mr Stirling attended Mr J. Gordon Simpson, the well-known amateur business as usual, he assumed two younger golfer. partners lately and was able to enjoy occasion- MR J. KERR WYLIE, D.Litt., advocate, has ally more relaxation. His favourite enjoyment been appointed Professor of Roman - Law in lay on the golf links, generally at Glencorse, the University at Capetown. Professor Wylie, and no later than the Saturday previous to his who was a 'Vans Dunlop scholar at Edinburgh death he was enjoying a game.
University, recently published an erudite Mr Stirling's specialty in law possibly lay in treatise on “Solidarity and Correality.”