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THE LATE MR DAVID LITTLEJOHN,
SHERIFF-CLERK OF ABERDEENSHIRE.
Proceeding to Marischal College, Dr Little0. and john attended classes from 1857 to 1860, entered upon an apprenticeship to the law, first with Mr William Robinson, and second We record with much regret the death of Mr John Clark. For a time he was with the death of with Dr Littlejohn in his eighty-fourth year at his Messrs Burns, Maclean & Alison, writers, residence, 9 Rubislaw Terrace, Aberdeen. Dr Glasgow, and on returning to Aberdeen, where Littlejohn was well known to lawyers all over he was admitted to the Society of Advocates Scotland. The following account in the in 1865, he was for a short period in partnership "Aberdeen Press and Journal is an admirable with Mr Clark, under the style of Messrs Clark testimony to the career of the late Sheriff-Clerk. & Littlejohn. At the time of his death he
was the second in seniority on the roll of the Society of Advocates to Mr Robert Collie Gray, S.S.C., Edinburgh.
4) From 1866 until 1884 Dr Littlejohn was in business on his own account. He was law agent
to the Scottish Provincial Assurance Co. Actively identifying himself with the Liberal party, he became secretary of the Aberdeen Liberal Association when it was formed in 1877, and, holding a similar post for West Aberdeenshire Liberal Association, acted
in the bombardment of Sveaborg, had a as agent for the late Dr Farquharson when daring look-in at Cronstadt, and experi- that gentleman fought his way in 1880 into enced all the rigours of the winter's cruise the House of Commons, to become one n an ice-bound sea. A long and crippling of the best-known Parliamentarians of his illness brought his naval career to an end, with generation. the Baltic medal and an unforgettable ex- With his appointment as Sheriff-Clerk of perience of ships and men little different from Aberdeenshire in December 1884 Dr Littlejohn those of the days of which Marryat wrote. retired from private practice. To the duties So that now, in his old age," the genial Doctor of his important office he brought a ripe exwrote not long ago, instead of being the perience, a reputation as a sound lawyer, and Admiral of his childish day-dreams, he may be an agreeable and likeable personality. He had looked upon as a kind of modified but quite the complete confidence of the bench-of contented Dr Dry-as-dust "-a, whimsical de- successive Sheriffs, Sheriffs-Substitute, and the scription of himself which did not at all fit one Senators who came on circuit, whose personal who had lived an exceedingly busy and useful life. | friendship Dr Littlejohn enjoyed-the bar and
the public, and also their esteem in an especial degree. He was, indeed, a persona grata in many walks of life. With a zealous concern for the public interest, he met everyone, gentle or simple, with a geniality and homeliness, a fine natural courtesy, and a tact which made him the ideal official. The same qualities of kindliness and consideration characterised his relations with all grades of his staff.
Despite the exacting duties of the SheriffClerkship, Dr Littlejohn found time to take a deep and active interest in various forms of public work. One way or another he was in public or semi-public life for close upon half a century. From 1875 to 1878 he was a member of the old St Nicholas Parochial Board, and from 1876 to 1885 he was Provost of Woodside. The chairmanship of the Royal Infirmary from 1888 to 1894-the reconstruction period in which much work had to be done followed, then came the chairmanship of the local Conciliation Board (1898-1906), and, finally, his membership of the University Court (1900-1909), also during the greatest period of development in the long history of that seat of learning. He entered the University Court as one of the General Council's assessors and specially representing the Faculty of Law. During his term of office, and in no small measure owing to his advocacy and assistance, the legal curriculum was so extended as to permit of the establishment of the degree of LL.B.
It was in connection with the extension scheme, however, that Dr Littlejohn, as one of the hon. secretaries and treasurers of the committee, rendered his chief service to the University. He joined the Court at a time when, as Professor Hay, convener of the Finance Committee of the University, said, in paying him a tribute when he left in 1909, a man of his great practical sagacity and of his knowledge of public affairs and of his wide acquaintance and influence with the people of Aberdeen, was of the utmost value to the University in shaping and carrying through the scheme for the last great instalment of the extension of their buildings. He added that those who knew the inner movements in the inception of the scheme would readily agree with him when he said that Dr Littlejohn was one of the most valued and helpful members of the Buildings Committee, without whose advice and active aid at critical moments things might well have eventuated less fortunately.
In 1903 the University conferred upon him its LL.D. degree. "I doubt," it was said on that occasion by the late Professor (subsequently Lord) Kennedy, "if the University Court has ever contained a member of greater weight in counsel and greater or more energetic zeal for the endowment of the University and buildings,
and for the extension of our provinces of knowledge."
For many years Dr Littlejohn was a bank director, first of the Town and County Bank, with which he had a hereditary connection, and then of the amalgamated North of Scotland and Town and County Bank, which but recently became the North of Scotland Bank; and he lived to see the old Town and County Bank, on the staff of which his father was practically at its initiation, become part of one of the largest banks in the country-the Midland. His natural shrewdness and sound business and administrative abilities were much valued by his co-directors and the principal officials. From 1891 he was governor under the Milne Bequest Educational Trust and a trustee under the bequest of John Burnett of Dens. The money of the Burnett Lecture Trust was absorbed in the endowment of the Chair of History. As hon. treasurer of the Indigent Lunatic Fund from 1903 he did much kindly work.
Personally, as he was officially, Dr Littlejohn was a man whom it was a pleasure to meet. He had a genial disposition, was a delightful raconteur, and possessed a rare fund of out-ofthe way and interesting information concerning Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. He had literary tastes, which for the most part, so far as his own writings were concerned, took an antiquarian bent. He was one of the most active spirits in the New Spalding Club, of whose executive he was for several years the chairman, and under whose auspices he edited and published the "Records of the Sheriff Court of Aberdeenshire" (three volumes, 1904-7), and "Aberdeenshire Fiars" (1906). The Diet Books of Court begin with the year 1503, going back fully seventy years further than those of any other sheriffdom in Scotland, and, making the arduous research a labour of love, the Doctor rescued from the past and has preserved much of interest not only to the lawyer but to the layman. Although the better part of two decades has elapsed since his last work appeared, Dr Littlejohn pursued his hobby to the last, and he enjoyed with all the zest of an enthusiast the finding of anything curious in the archives under his charge.
Except for a short break when he was out of the city he was actively connected with the volunteering movement from 1860 until 1882, joining the 1st Aberdeenshire Rifles as a private, getting his commission, and ultimately retiring with the rank of major. He was one of the first local recipients of the V.D. He played golf and cricket, and was an ex-captain of the Royal Aberdeenshire Golf Club and a stalwart of the Aberdeenshire C.C. in its earliest days, following the latter's fortunes from the ground at Queen's Cross to the Broomhill Road district, and finally
to Mannofield, where he was an interested ary occasionally sits as a Judge of Appeal. spectator to the last. He was a Deputy- In practice, however, the thirteen judges are Lieutenant of the county, and a Justice of the distributed as follows: one sits as Lord Peace for both the county and city of Aberdeen. Ordinary' to hear first-instance suits and Dr Littlejohn was twice married, first to dispatch urgent business; three sit as the Ellen Marie, eldest daughter of the late Mr First Division,' and other three as the 'Second Joseph H..Taylor of Graigue, County Tipperary, Division' ; the other six are usually and of Hillbrook, County Dublin. She died in 1869. His second wife was Jane, fourth daughter of the late Mr James Crombie, manufacturer, Grandholm, who died in 1917. His only son of the latter marriage-is Mr William Littlejohn, advocate, of Messrs Marquis Hall & Littlejohn, advocates. There are three daughters Margaret, who married the Rev. G. G. Walker, Prebendary of Lincoln, and Rector of Barkston with Syston; Janet Bentley, and Ruth, wife of Colonel W. S. Gill, C.B., of Dalhebity.
SCOTS LAW THROUGH ENGLISH
A well-known English law journal recently published a series of articles on The Legal System of Scotland." Beginning with the Courts and the legal profession in Scotland, these articles contain so much that is of interest and importance to members of the profession in Scotland that no apology need be made for the publication here of a number of extracts.
'We believe that very few English legal practitioners understand at all clearly the organisation of their profession in the sister country across the Tweed." Still less, the writer proceeds in effect to say, is the law understood "by the Southron who has occasion to read the papers' in a Scots case." The articles have been written to supply these defects.
absent on circuit as the Court of Justiciary," which has supreme criminal juridiction." After dealing with the Inner House or Court of Appeal, the author proceeds: "The Lord Ordinary is the Outer House.' Of course, there may be more than one judge sitting as Lord Ordinary, but the first-instance work is really quite small." Many a true word is spoken in error.
The Sheriff-Principal tends more and more to become a merely ornamental part of the judicial system. The real foundation of the Scots judicial system is the Sheriff-Substitute. There are scores and scores of Sheriff-Substitutes in Scotland." A long paragraph is devoted to the multifarious duties of this numerous official, who has "Common Law, Chancery, Consistorial, Admiralty, and a host of other jurisdictions. But his pre-war salary was just £800 per annum."
"What the judiciary lack [sic] in complexity is made up for by the complications of the professional system. There exists in Scotland, not two kinds of lawyer, as in England, but a bewildering variety of different branches of the law. There are Edinburgh advocates and Aberdeen advocates-two quite different professions." The many kinds of lawyer are then discussed. Between W.S. and S.S.C. there is not much distinction. except that Writers of [sic] the Signet are found only in Edinburgh, whereas the solicitors of the Supreme Court often practise as law agents in provincial towns. In practice the distinctions are not so meticulous as they appear to be in theory. But Scots lawyers are susceptible on points of privilege and precedent; so it is desirable for the stranger to find out the correct designation of the lawyer he deals with and to give it to him punctiliously.'
The first feature noticeable about the Scots Courts is their "very great simplicity"; of such a feature the writer of the articles is well qualified to speak. "The Court of Sessions [sic] has always been a Court of equity as well as one of law; indeed it still possesses a curious But it is not only the Courts that are ideally jurisdiction.. to make new laws to meet simple, with their clean-cut division into new evils; this is known as the Extraordinary" High Justice" and "Low Justice." The Jurisdiction' of the Courts and is occasionally system of jurisprudence which these Courts exercised..... Judges have legislative administer has also the merit of being singularly power to create new crimes or delicts. simple, compact, and symmetrical." After They are not bound-in theory-by case-law." going back to Aryan tribal customs for part at The judges of the Scots Court are called least of our legal principles, the author states Lords of Session in their civil, Senators of the that feudal law, in the Lowlands, very soon College of Justice in their criminal, capacity. vanished. The Scots Land Laws," with The Lord President " corresponds at once to minor exceptions, are based on Roman Law." our Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, and One of the reasons for this appears to be that President of the Probate Division. The Lord after the repulse of the English invasion at Justice-Clerk corresponds more or less to our Bannockburn in 1314, the Scots people cast Master of the Rolls. ... Every Lord Ordin-off every vestige of Teutonic customs." A
reference is made to the Dutch influence, and we learn that to this day a Scots advocate is supposed to spend his year of idleness,' before call to the Bar, at the University of Leyden, though this is no longer insisted on." Cromwell made the old system of Scots jurisprudence fall in ruins. After 1660 the Scots Parliament determined to restore it by an extraordinary, but most effective method." Professor Dalrymple, it appears, was appointed Lord President and bidden to write his volume of Institutes. Every statement in it is an authoritative statement of Scots Law which the Courts must recognise and give effect to." It was later supplemented by Erskine and Bell. These three books are the Law of Scotland. No statement not contained in them is authoritative law, even although decided by the House of Lords." On this shewing it should be easy to dispose of Curle's Trs. v. Millar (v. S.L.T. (News), 1922, p. 5).
The six great distinctions between English and Scots Law are to be found in (1) Land Law, (2) Trusts, (3) Family Law, (4) " the great fact that a contract does not require a consideration to support it," (5) "the principles of the law of civil wrongs, Scoticé 'Delicts,' Anglicé Torts," " and (6) rules of evidence. As regards the last-named the rule that classes of testimony have different weights, when contrasted with the English rule that the judge of fact is the sole judge of the weight he chooses to attach to different kinds of testimony, is a familiar stumbling-block to the English lawyer who, a visitor to Scotland, has occasion to conduct in person a case in which he is defendant or pursuer, in a Scots Sheriff Court." The English lawyer who doubts his ability to keep out of the Sheriff Court would be well-advised to spend his holidays elsewhere.
The Scots Land Laws are a blend of the feudal and allodial systems in a way very strange to an Englishman. Real and Personal Property are known in Scotland as heritable and moveable property. The former is vested in the King as possessor of the Paramount Title. But the land is practically everywhere divided into Baronies the owner of which possesses the nearest equivalent to an English estate in fee-simple. His interest in the land is known as the Dominium Eminens, and he is the Dominus. The King's rights are Royalties.' Much follows about Feucharters," Livery of Sasine," and Instruments. A safe rule in dealing with these is given, that the services of a lawyer
as necessary in Scotland as in England." In the Orkneys and Shetland "the system of Uda [sic] Tenure' prevails."
"In Scotland, marriage is and always has been a status in which there is a Communio
Bonorum between husband and wife." Statute law has left this intact. Marriage is a civil ceremony in Scotland and is a contract consensu, i.e. the partners can enter into [sic] by mere verbal or even implied-assent to live together as husband and wife." Irregular marriages occur (1) before the Sheriff. or (2) by marriage lines,' a mutual written acknowledgment of the status of the parties; or (3) by mere habit and repute.'" A distinction is drawn here, greatly to the detriment of England: in Scotland public opinion still maintains a conservative attitude on marriage, and, indeed, in feminist matters generally; and breach of marital duty is regarded with a social disfavour long since dead in England, where repudiation of her domestic duties and of deference to marital authority seems to be generally approved, nowadays, as a spirited assertion of independence' and of the will to self-realization,' on the part of the wife."
As to children's rights, a fashion has grown up of excluding the legitim by settling a shilling on each child in the marriage settlement.' It is a relief to learn that " in practice the right of children at puberty to choose their. own residence, to refuse to go to school, or to refuse to live with their parents, is not often exercised." The last article begins: In this and the succeeding articles we propose to discuss a little more fully some of the features of Scots Law which are likely to prove useful in practice to English lawyers." If English lawyers in any number should happen to follow the Law of Scotland as enunciated in these articles, the long-looked-for revival in litigation may well be at hand. But although the final article begins thus, and ends hopefully with the words "To be continued," nothing further has appeared from this author's pen. Perhaps, like counsel in some law reports, stopped."
THE HOUSING ACTS AS AFFECTING
The question of the erection or acquisition
ERECTION OF HOUSES.
the grant in one sum of £78 or such other amount as they may determine; £100 seems to be the usual grant made. The grant is paid on the completion of the house, after examination by the approved officer appointed by the authority. The construction of the house, it should be noted, must have commenced after 25th April 1923, and must be completed by 1st October 1925, with extension, on cause shewn, to 1st June 1926.
Secondly, the Local Authority may grant a loan not exceeding 90 per cent. of the value of the property, as ascertained by the authorised officer. The proportion of loan to value is a matter for decision by the Local Authority, but 90 per cent. is the maximum. The restrictions regarding loans over houses in course of erection on ground held leasehold need not be entered into, as that form of tenure is the exception in Scotland.
per cent., the first year's payment would be £25 of principal and £25 of interest--in all £50. Next year the payment would be £48, 15s. and so on with decreasing yearly payments, until in the last year the final payment of £26, 5s. would be made. On the annuity principle the same loan would be repaid by twenty yearly payments of £39, 16s. 8d. In both cases the actual amount paid is the same, and in both cases payment can be accelerated if desired.
The Act contemplates repayment of the loan over a period of years; the period is fixed by the Local Authority, but twenty years appears to be the rule. The method of repayment may be (1) a definite capital contribution each year and interest on the sum at the time outstanding, or (2) the annuity principle. In Houses to be erected are divided into two case (1) the payments decrease each year; categories, those which qualify for the Govern- in case (2) a flat rate is paid during the whole ment subsidy, and those which do not. A course of the loan. On the first principle necessary preliminary to the granting of the stated, with a loan of £500 repayable in twenty subsidy. is that the Local Housing Authority-years and bearing interest at the rate of 5 the Town Council within Burgh and the County Council elsewhere-shall have prepared a scheme which has been sanctioned by the Scottish Board of Health. To qualify for the subsidy, the nature and amount of which will be explained later, the house need not conform to any type plan, nor need it be erected on any set feuing site. The only restrictions are as to size. If of one storey it must not be less in superficial area than 550 square feet nor more than 880 square feet. If of two storeys the minimum area is 620 square feet and the maximum 950 square feet. Certain relaxations as regards minimum area are permitted on the sanction of the Scottish Board of Health being obtained, but I venture to suggest that that body are unlikely to grant these relaxations, and rightly so. The rules of measurement are somewhat complex and outwith the duties of the practitioner. The house must have an estimated life of at least sixty years, and must, of course, conform to the Acts, local or general, affecting the erection of buildings.
The subsidy paid by the Treasury to the Local Authority is £6 per annum, payable for twenty years, which capitalises at roughly £78. The grant may be paid by the Local Authority in the same manner as it is received; generally speaking, however, the authorities are making
Thirdly, instead of itself lending the principal sum and receiving repayment, the Local Authority may guarantee repayment of sums borrowed from a building society.
Fourthly, certain refunds of rates or abate: ments thereof may be made by the Local Authority in respect of subsidy houses. (This is the method employed in Italy to encourage private enterprise; in that country no rates or taxes are payable for the first twenty-five years of the house's life.) This aid has not been taken up with any enthusiasm by the Local Authorities; their ordinary collection of rates is difficult enough, and this provision would have the effect of rendering it even more difficult.