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Scottish Thought and Letters in the Eighteenth Century

Introduction - History and Antiquities - Geography - Travels - Encyclopaedias - Libraries - Society and Clubs - Law - Philosophy and Religion- Economy and Social History - Adam Smith - Education Architecture - Science and Medicine- Literature


FORBES, William Oratio inauguralis, de natura, fortuna, dignitate, utilitate atque auctoritate juris civilis.
[Edinburgh : 1714]

William Forbes delivered this address in Glasgow University in February 1714, shortly after his appointment to the newly instituted Chair of Civil Law endowed by Queen Anne.

HOME. Henry, Lord Kames The decisions of the Court of Session, from its first institution to the present time. Abridged, and digested under proper heads, in form of a dictionary.
[Edinburgh : 1741] 2 vols 

'A work of the highest utility to the profession of the law in Scotland. Before this time, the Reports of the judgments of the Supreme Court had not only never been methodized and classified; but the greater part of them being unprinted, were to be found only in a few manuscript collections, which were neither easily accessible to the practitioner, nor could be perused or consulted without much unpleasant labour. Hence the train of precedents was very imperfectly known either to the practitioners, or to the judges themselves; and the common law of the country, which is the creature of precendent or usage, was, of course, most uncertain and fluctuating.' - Alexander Tytler, the biographer of Henry Home, Lord Kames.


MILLAR, John Notes of his lectures on the Institutes of Justinian.
Taken by David Boyle, [1789] 3 vols 
MILLAR, John Notes of his lectures on government.
Taken by David Boyle, 1789.3 vols
MSS Murray 88-90, 96-98

Millar studied at Glasgow University where he attended Adalp Smith's lectures on moral philosophy and became a friend of the inventor, James Watt. A tutor in the family of Lord Kames, Millar early became acquainted with David Hume, whose metaphysical doctrines he adopted, though politically they were opposed. In 1761 Millar accepted the Professorship of Civil Law at Glasgow and began to deliver lectures on civil law, jurisprudence, Scottish law, government, and English law. A supporter of American independence, of parliamentary reform, of the anti-slavery campaign, and a sympathizer (at the start) with the French Revolution, Millar's adherence to the Whigs made him conspicuous at a time when Scotland was chiefly in the hands of the Tories.


BOSWELL, James A letter to the people of Scotland on the alarming attempt to infringe the Articles of the Union, and introduce a most pernicious innovation, by diminishing the number of the Lords of Session.
[London : 1785]
Mu10 - c.20

Boswell's protest against a bill for reconstituting the Court of Session; he aptly quotes Fletcher of Saltoun's remark: 'There is not, perhaps, in human affairs, anything so unaccountable, as the indignity and cruelty with which mankind suffer themselves to be used, under pretence of Government.'