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THE LATE MR DAVID LITTLEJOHN,
Proceeding to Marischal College, Dr Littlejohn attended classes from 1857 to 1860, à
and 1. LL.D., D.L.,
entered upon an apprenticeship to the law, SHERIFF-CLERK OF ABERDEENSHIRE.
first with Mr William Robinson, and second with much 6. regret the of
Mr John Clark. For a time he was with
in. in his eighty-fourth 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 Born in April
was the second in 1841, David Little
seniority on the :, john was a son
roll of the Society of the late Mr
of Advocates to William Little
Robert Collie 15 john, manager of
Gray, S.S.C., Edinthe Town and
burgh.. County Bank, and
From 1866 until after attending Dr
1884 Dr Littlejohn Tulloch's Academy
was in business on and the Grammar
his own account. School, he pro
He was law agent ceeded to East
to the Scottish area man's, Southsea,
Provincial Assurentering the Royal
ance Co. Actively Navy as a cadet
identifying himself in the summer of
with the Liberal 1854. With the
party, he became Crimean War on
secretary of the & flying squadron
Aberdeen Liberal was sent to block
Association when ade the Russians
it was formed in in the Baltic, and
1877, and, holding the young. Aber
similar post for
い deen middy went
the West Aberon one of the
deenshire Liberal ships, took part
Association, acted in the bombardment of Sveaborg, had a las 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
Commons, to become one on 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. I friendship Dr Littlejohn enjoyed—the bar and
the public, and also their esteem in an especial and for the extension of our provinces of degree. He was, indeed, a persona grata in knowledge." many walks of life. With a zealous concern For many years Dr Littlejohn was a bank for the public interest, he met everyone, gentle director, first of the Town and County Bank, or simple, with a geniality and homeliness, à with which he had a hereditary connection, and
a fine natural courtesy, and a tact which made then of the amalgamated North of Scotland and him the ideal official. The same qualities of Town and County Bank, which but recently kindliness and consideration characterised his became the North of Scotland Bank; and he relations with all grades of his staff.
lived to see the old Town and County Bank, on . Despite the exacting duties of the Sheriff- the staff of which his father was practically at Clerkship, Dr Littlejohn found time to take a its initiation, become part of one of the largest deep and active interest in various forms of banks in the country—the Midland. His public work. One way or another he was in natural shrewdness and sound business and public or semi-public life for close upon half a administrative abilities were much valued by century. From 1875 to 1878 he was a member his co-directors and the principal officials. of the old St Nicholas Parochial Board, and From 1891 he was governor under the Milné from 1876 to 1885 he was Provost of Woodside. Bequest Educational Trust and a trustee under The chairmanship of the Royal Infirmary from the bequest of John Burnett of Dens. The 1888 to 1894—the reconstruction period in money of the Burnett Lecture Trust was which much work had to be done-followed, absorbed in the endowment of the Chair of then came the chairmanship of the local Con- History. _As hon. treasurer of the Indigent ciliation Board (1898–1906), and, finally, his Lunatic Fund from 1903 he did much kindly membership of the University Court (1900-1909), work. also during the greatest period of development Personally, as he was officially, Dr Littlejohn in the long history of that seat of learning. He was a man whom it was a pleasure to meet. entered the University Court as one of the He had a genial disposition, was a delightful General Council's assessors and specially repre- raconteur, and possessed a rare fund of out-ofsenting the Faculty of Law. During his term the way and interesting information concerning of office, and in no small measure owing to his Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. He had literary advocacy and assistance, the legal curriculum tastes, which for the most part, so far as his own was so extended as to permit of the establish- writings were concerned, took an antiquarian ment of the degree of LL.B.
bent. He was one of the most active spirits in It was in connection with the extension the New Spalding Club, of whose executive he scheme, however, that Dr Littlejohn, as one was for several years the chairman, and under of the hon. secretaries and treasurers of the whose auspices he edited and published the committee, rendered his chief service to the Records of the Sheriff Court of Aberdeenshire" University. He joined the Court at a time (three volumes, 1904–7), and " Aberdeenshire when, as Professor Hay, convener of the Finance Fiars” (1906). The Diet Books of Court begin Committee of the University, said, in paying with the year 1503, going back fully seventy him a tribute when he left in 1909, a man of his years further than those of any other sheriffdom great practical sagacity and of his knowledge of in Scotland, and, making the arduous research public affairs and of his wide acquaintance and a labour of love, the Doctor rescued from the influence with the people of Aberdeen, was of the past and has preserved much of interest not only utmost value to the University in shaping and to the lawyer but to the layman. Although the carrying through the scheme for the last great better part of two decades has elapsed since his instalment of the extension of their buildings. last work appeared, Dr Littlejohn pursued his He added that those who knew the inner move-' hobby to the last, and he enjoyed with all the ments in the inception of the scheme would zest of an enthusiast the finding of anything readily agree with him when he said that Dr curious in the archives under his charge. Littlejohn was one of the most valued and Except for a short break when he was out of the helpful members of the Buildings Committee, city he was actively connected with the volunwithout whose advice and active aid at critical teering movement from 1860 until 1882, joining moments things might well have eventuated the 1st Aberdeenshire Rifles as a private, getting less fortunately
his commission, and ultimately retiring with the In 1903 the University conferred upon him rank of major. He was one of the first local its LL.D. degree. “I doubt," it was said on recipients of the V.D. He played golf and that occasion by the late Professor (subsequently cricket, and was an ex-captain of the Royal Lord) Kennedy, “if the University Court has Aberdeenshire Golf Club and a stalwart of the ever contained a member of greater weight in Aberdeenshire C.C. in its earliest days, following counsel and greater or more energetic zeal for the latter's fortunes from the ground at Queen's the endowment of the University and buildings, 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 absent on circuit as the Court of Justiciary,' 1869. His second wife was Jane, fourth which has supreme criminal juridiction." After daughter of the late Mr James Crombie, manu- dealing with the Inner House or Court of Appeal, facturer, Grandholm, who died in 1917. His the author proceeds: “The Lord Ordinary is only son of the latter marriage—is Mr William the 'Outer House.' Of course, there may be Littlejohn, advocate, of Messrs Marquis Hall & more than one judge sitting as Lord Ordinary, Littlejohn, advocates. There
three but the first-instance work is really quite small. daughters--Margaret, who married the Rev. Many a true word is spoken in error. G. G. Walker, Prebendary of Lincoln, and The Sheriff-Principal
tends more and more Rector of Barkston with Syston; Janet Bent- to become a merely ornamental part of the ley, and Ruth, wife of Colonel W. S. Gill, C.B., judicial system. The real foundation of the of Dalhebity.
Scots judicial system is the Sheriff-Substitute.
in Scotland.”. A long paragraph is devoted to SCOTS LAW THROUGH ENGLISH the multifarious duties of this numerous EYES.
official, who has “Common Law, Chancery,
Consistorial, Admiralty, and a host of other A well-known English law journal recently jurisdictions. But his pre-war salary was just published a series of articles on “ The Legal | £800 per annum. System of Scotland."
Beginning with the “What the judiciary lack [sic] in complexity Courts and the legal profession in Scotland, is made up for by the complications of the these articles contain so much that is of interest professional system. There exists in Scotland, and importance to members of the profession in not two kinds of lawyer, as in England, but Scotland that no apology need be made for the a bewildering variety of different branches publication here of a number of extracts. of the law. There are Edinburgh advocates
“We believe that very few English legal and Aberdeen advocates—two quite different practitioners understand at all clearly the professions." The many kinds of lawyer are organisation of their profession in the sister then discussed. Between W.S. and S.S.C. country across the Tweed." Still less, the “ there is not much distinction. except writer proceeds in effect to say, is the law that Writers of [sic] the Signet are found only understood " by the Southron who has occasion in Edinburgh, whereas the solicitors of the to read the papers' in a Scots case. The Supreme Court often practise as law agents articles have been written to supply these in provincial towns. In practice the defects.
distinctions are not so meticulous as they appear The first feature noticeable about the Scots to be in theory. . But Scots lawyers are Courts is their“ very great simplicity”; of susceptible on points of privilege and precedent; such a feature the writer of the articles is well so it is desirable for the stranger to find out the qualified to speak. “The Court of Sessions correct designation of the lawyer he deals with [sic] has always been a Court of equity as well and to give it to him punctiliously." 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
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
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 Bonorum between husband and wife." Statute
" we learn that “to this day a Scots advocate law has left this intact. “Marriage is a civil is supposed to spend his year of idleness,' ceremony in Scotland and is a contract consensú, before call to the Bar, at the University of i.e. the partners can enter into [sic] by mere Leyden, though this is no longer insisted on." verbal-or even implied-assent to live together
' Cromwell made the old system of Scots juris- as husband and wife.' Irregular marriages prudence fall in ruins. After 1660 the Scots occur “(1) before the Sheriff or (2) Parliament determined to restore it by “an by ‘marriage lines,' a mutual written acknow
' extraordinary, but most effective method.” ledgment of the status of the parties ; or (3) Professor Dalrymple, it appears, was appointed by mere ‘habit and repute.' A distinction Lord President and bidden to write his volume is drawn here, greatly to the detriment of of Institutes. “Every statement in it is an England : " in Scotland public opinion still authoritative statement of Scots Law which the maintains a conservative attitude on marriage, Courts must recognise and give effect to." It and, indeed, in feminist matters generally; and was later supplemented by Erskine and Bell. breach of marital duty is regarded with a social
These three books are the Law of Scotland. disfavour long since dead in England, where No statement not contained in them is authori- repudiation of her domestic duties and of tative law, even although decided by the House deference to marital authority seems to be of Lords." On this shewing it should be easy to generally approved, nowadays, as a spirited dispose of Curle's Trs. v. Millar (v. S.L.T. (News), assertion of independence and of the 'will 1922, p. 5).
to self-realization,' on the part of the wife." The six great distinctions between English As to children's rights, “a fashion has and Scots Law are to be found in (1) Land Law, grown up of excluding the legitim by settling (2) Trusts, (3) Family Law, (4) “ the great fact a shilling on each child in the marriage settlethat a contract does not require a consideration ment. It is a relief to learn that in practice” to support it," (5) " the principles of the law the right of children at puberty to choose their of civil wrongs, Scoticé 'Delicts,' Anglicé own residence, to refuse to go to school, or to * Torts,' ” ' ,
and (6) rules of evidence. As regards refuse to live with their parents, “is not often the last-named “the rule that classes of testi- exercised." mony have different weights, when contrasted The last article begins : “In this and the with the English rule that the judge of fact is succeeding articles we propose to discuss a little the sole judge of the weight he chooses to more fully some of the features of Scots Law attach to different kinds of testimony, is a which are likely to prove useful in practice to familiar stumbling-block to the English lawyer English lawyers.” If English lawyers in any who, a visitor to Scotland, has occasion to number should happen to follow the Law of conduct in person a case in which he is defendant Scotland as enunciated in these articles, the or pursuer, in a Scots Sheriff Court.” The long-looked for revival in litigation may well English lawyer who doubts his ability to keep be at hand. But although the final article out of the Sheriff Court would be well-advised to begins thus, and ends hopefully with the words spend his holidays elsewhere.
“ To be continued,” nothing further has The Scots Land Laws are a blend of the
appeared from this author's pen. Perhaps, feudal and allodial systems in a way very strange like counsel in some law reports,
he was to an Englishman. Real and Personal stopped.” 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 MINUTE OF COURT.-Edinburgh, 13th May divided into 'Baronies
the owner of 1924.-The Lords of Council and Session, which possesses the nearest equivalent to an in respect that Tuesday, 3rd June, next has been English estate in fee-simple. His interest in appointed by His Majesty's Command to be the land is known as the Dominium Eminens, kept as a holiday in celebration of the King's and he is the Dominus. The King's rights Birthday, allow the papers due on Tuesday to are 'Royalties.' Much follows about Feu- be boxed and received by the clerks on charters, " Livery of Sasine,” and Instruments. Wednesday, 4th June. A safe rule in dealing with these is given,
J. A. CLYDE, I.P.D. that “the services of a lawyer . as necessary in Scotland as in England." In the Orkneys and Shetland “the system of Uda The Secretary for Scotland has appointed [sic] Tenure' prevails."
Mr John Dickson, Sheriff-Clerk Depute of “In Scotland, marriage is and always has Perthshire, to be Sheriff-Clerk of Perthshire, been a status in which there is a Communio in place of Mr George Badger, deceased.
the grant in one sum of £78 or such other THE HOUSING ACTS AS AFFECTING amount as they may determine; £100 seems PRACTITIONERS.
to be the usual grant made. The grant is
paid on the completion of the house, after The question of the erection or acquisition examination by the approved officer appointed of a house is one which at the present time is by the authority. The construction of the giving concern to many of the clients of the house, it should be noted, must have commenced practising solicitor. In the past, state or after 25th April 1923, and must be completed municipal aid was almost unknown, but from by 1st October 1925, with extension, on cause time to time the legislature has made provision shewn, to 1st June 1926. for state or municipal assistance in various Secondly, the Local Authority may grant forms. The Housing, etc. Act of 1923 intro- a loan not exceeding 90 per cent. of the value duced certain new aids, and it is on this Act of the property, as ascertained by the authorised that the law now stands. The practitioner, officer. The proportion of loan to value is a however, has little time to excerpt from statutes matter for decision by the Local Authority, but affecting chiefly municipal affairs the sections 90 per cent. is the maximum. The restrictions thereof dealing more directly with the interests regarding loans over houses in course of erection of his clients, and I am of opinion that a summary on ground held leasehold need not be entered of the various aids which are provided for may into, as that form of tenure is the exception in
With the general
the general housing Scotland. question
I am not here concerned ; my purpose The Act contemplates repayment of the loan is to state in concrete form the provisions of over a period of years ; the period is fixed by the Act of 1923 as affecting the erection or the Local Authority, but twenty years appears acquisition of a dwelling-house.
to be the rule. The method of repayment
may be (1) a definite capital contribution each ERECTION OF HOUSES.
year and interest on the sum at the time out
standing, 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 per cent., the first year's payment would be Council elsewhere-shall have prepared a £25 of principal and £25 of interest-in all £50. scheme which has been sanctioned by the Next year the payment would be £48, 158. Scottish Board of Health. To qualify for the and so on with decreasing yearly payments, subsidy, the nature and amount of which will until in the last year the final payment of be explained later, the house need not conform £26, 5s. would be made. On the annuity to any type plan, nor need it be erected on any principle the same loan would be repaid by set feuing site. The only restrictions are as to twenty yearly payments of £39, 16s. 8d. In size. If of one storey it must not be less in both cases the actual amount paid is the same, superficial area than 550 square feet nor more and in both cases payment can be accelerated than 880 square feet. If of two storeys the if desired. minimum area is 620 square feet and the Thirdly, instead of itself lending the prinmaximum 950 square feet. Certain relaxations cipal sum and receiving repayment, the Local as regards minimum area are permitted on the Authority may guarantee repayment of sums sanction of the Scottish Board of Health being borrowed from a building society. obtained, but I venture to suggest that that Fourthly, certain refunds of rates or abate: body are unlikely to grant these relaxations, ments thereof may be made by the Local and rightly so. The rules of measurement are Authority in respect of subsidy houses. (This
. somewhat complex and outwith the duties is the method employed in Italy to encourage of the practitioner. The house must have an private enterprise; in that country no rates estimated life of at least sixty years, and must, or taxes are payable for the first twenty-five of course, conform to the Acts, local or general, years of the house's life.) This aid has not affecting the erection of buildings.
been taken up with any enthusiasm by the The subsidy paid by the Treasury to the Local Local Authorities ; their ordinary collection Authority is £6 per annum, payable for twenty of rates is difficult enough, and this provision years, which capitalises at roughly £78. The would have the effect of rendering it even more grant may be paid by the Local Authority difficult. in the same manner as it is received ; generally speaking, however, the authorities are making