James Boswell died in 1795 believing he had touched and kissed a cache of Shakespeare's original letters and papers discovered by a Mr. Ireland. His friend, Edmond Malone, publicly exposed the lot as a forgery just a year later.
Patrick Heron of Heron and Kirroughtrie
Patrick HeronBorn ca. 1736
Probably the son of Patrick Heron (1701-1761) and Janet Gordon (b. 1703). Married (1761) to Jean Home, daughter of Henry Home, Lord Kames. They divorced in 1772 following Jean's adulterous affair with a young officer. Re-married (1775) to Elizabeth Cochrane (1745-1811), a cousin of James Boswell.
Co-founder, with Archibald Douglas, of the Ayr bank Douglas, Heron & Company which went bankrupt in 1773, resulting in heavy financial losses for depositors and shareholders.
In 1793 he was elected Whig MP for the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, unseating the incumbent John Gordon. He was re-elected again shortly before his death in 1803, defeating Tory candidate Montgomery Stewart, but was himself unseated by a decision of a committee in the House of Commons.
He was inherited by his only surviving child, Mary (d. 1856), and son-in-law Lieutenant-General Sir John Maxwell (d. 1830), 4th Bart of Nova Scotia, who assumed the surname and arms of Heron.1
The Kirroughtrie estate had been in the family's possession since 1465. Heron's Court in Edinburgh is named after Patrick Heron, who owned a building on or near the premises.
- 1. According to Anderson, William. The Scottish Nation. Volumes I-III. Edinburgh: A. Fullarton & Co., 1864. See the entry for the Maxwells of Springkell
Boswell stayed with the Herons at Kirroughtrie in late September and early October 1762. Boswell described Patrick Heron as "sensible, genteel, well-bred, has an uncommon good temper, and, at the same time, has all the spirit that becomes a man".
Heron later divorced Jean Home and married Elizabeth Cochrane, a maternal cousin of James Boswell's. Boswell and Heron moved in the same circles, and Heron is occasionally mentioned in Boswell's journals particularly during the 1770s and 1780s.