In January 1723, then, or at his age of about twenty-seven, the young Home “passed advocate,” as the trials for admission to the bar were called, and was thus permitted to put on the gown and to plead “causes” before the bench, which in Edinburgh meant usually before the Court of Session or the Court of Justiciary, the highest civil and criminal courts, respectively, in the land.


Legal Profession Criminal Court High Court Remarkable Decision Natural Religion 
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  1. 1.
    Memoirs of Thomas Thomson,ed. C. Innes (Edinburgh, 1854), pp. 12f. See generally pp. - 17.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    John Lockhart], Peters Letters to his Kinfolk (3 vols., 3rd. ed.; Edinburgh, 1819), vol. II, pp. 3f.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    The most convenient orientation to the Scottish legal and judicial system at this time will be found in W. K. Wimsett and F. A. Pottle, Boswell for the Defense: 17691774 (New York, 1959), Appendix B. The same material is also reproduced, with only minor alterations, in Ryskamp and Pottle, Boswell: The Ominous Years: 1774–1776 (New York, 1963), also Appendix B Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    There were, of course, also other courts, such as the Court of Exchequer which dealt with fiscal matters of the Crown, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which was also considered a court, the Court of Admiralty, and others; but these played only a minor role in the work of most lawyers.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    For example, William Roughead, The Trial of Katherine Nairne (Edinburgh, 1926), and other works by this author; also John Maclaurin (Lord Dreghorn), Arguments and Decisions in Remarkable Cases before the High Court of Justiciary and other Supreme Courts of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1774 ).Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Ibid., pp. 271 and 280. See also John Ramsay of Ochtertyre, Scotland and the Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Alexander Allardyce (2 vols.; Edinburgh, 1888), vol. I, pp. 131–138.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    This item of information I have found only in an article by Ian S. Ross, entitled “Scots Law and Scottish Criticism? in the Philological Quarterly,XLV, no. 3 (July, 1966), p. 619. It is based on the authors examination of the minutes of the Faculty of Advocates.Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    We have found no such papers, unless the reference is to papers included in various of Kamess collections of essays.Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    Ramsay, Ochtertyre MSS (located in National Library of Scotland), vol. I, p. 457. Permission the Trustees of the late Col. J. C. Dundas, D.S.A., owners.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    See Ramsay, I, 184n. On this problem, see also Johnson’s advice to Boswell, James Boswell, Life of Johnson ( Oxford Standard Ed.; Oxford, 1953 ), p. 388.Google Scholar
  11. 23.
    Lockhart was also later (in 1775) made a Lord of Session as Lord Covington, but not until his age 75. Kames was elevated to the bench at age 56.Google Scholar
  12. 24.
    William Fraser, The Chiefs of Grant (3 vols.; Edinburgh, 1883), vol. II, p. 368. (Letter 456, 5 May, 1738.)Google Scholar
  13. 25.
    The principal sources on the heresy controversy are: Tytler, I, 138–49; Ramsay, I, 314–17; Smellie, op. cit.,pp. 130f.; and Scots Magazine,XIV, pp. 399–402; XV, pp. 165–170; XVII, pp. 233–243 and 417–425; XVIII, pp. 223–227, 248, 280–284 and 587–594. The gist of the matter is well represented by Ernest C. Mossner in his Life of David Hume (Edinburgh, 1954), pp. 340–44 and 352ff.Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    Letter, Hume to Allan Ramsay, June, 1755. See J. Y. T. Greig, The Letters of David Hume (Oxford, 1932), vol. I, p. 224. (Letter No. 112.)Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1971

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  • William C. Lehmann

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