Margaret Douglas - Duchess of Douglas

Name
Margaret Douglas
First name
Margaret
Last name
Douglas
Born 1714
Died 1774
Gender
1
Alias
Duchess of Douglas
Biography

Daughter of James Douglas of Mains, Dunbartonshire, and Isabel Corbet. In 1758 she married her distant kinsman, Archibald Douglas (1694-1791), the 1st Duke of Douglas, who also bore the titles of Earl of Angus and 3rd Marquess of Douglas. Their marriage was childless, but the Duchess moved to ensure, that her husband's estate would not go to the young Duke of Hamilton, who inherited all of the Duke's subsidiary titles, but rather to Archibald James Edward Stuart, the supposed child of the Duke of Douglas' sister, Jane. This resulted in a lengthy legal struggle known as the Douglas cause in which Boswell took great interest, siding with Archibald Stuart and the Duchess of Douglas. The House of Lords eventually, in 1769, decided in Stuart's favour.

The Duchess was apparently known for her lack of sophistication, but she was shrewd and with outspoken wit, which gained her some reputation. She was remembered as "the last of the nobility to be attended by halberdiers when going about the country[, and w]hen she visited she left her dress behind her as a present."1

Life with Boswell

Boswell had known the Duchess's nephew Archibald Stuart at least as early as 1762, and when the legal struggle concerning the extensive Douglas estates was at its highest in 1767, he served as a legal advisor to Stuart and even wrote the tale Dorando as a thinly disguised comment on the ongoing legal battle.

On August 16, 1773, the Duchess dined at Boswell's house in honour of Dr Johnson, who was staying there for a few days before the beginning of his and Boswell's tour of Scotland. Also present at the dinner was, in Boswell's own words, "Sir Adolphus Oughton, Lord Chief Baron, Sir William Forbes, Principal Robertson, Mr Cullen, advocate."1

James Ker - Keeper of Records

Name
James Ker
First name
James
Last name
Ker

Died 1782
Gender
0
Biography

Longtime Keeper of Records at the Parliament House in Edinburgh. He was appointed on October 20, 1746, and continued to hold the office until February 1777, when he resigned on account of his age and infirmities.

Life with Boswell

Boswell took Dr Johnson to visit the Records Office at the Lower Parliament House in Edinburgh on August 16, 1773, and there had a discussion with Ker and others, recounted in Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides.

Research
http://www.google.cat/books?id=oDwJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PR129&vq=Edinburgh&dq=editions:NYPL33433071367928&lr=&as_brr=0&hl=es&output=html_text

Charles Hay - Lord Newton

Name
Charles Hay
First name
Charles
Last name
Hay
Born 1740
Died 1811
Gender
0
Alias
Lord Newton
Biography

Son of James Hay of Cocklaw. Hay was an advocate who in 1806 was raised to the bench as Lord Newton.

Life with Boswell

Hay was one of Boswell's closest friends for some years until the mid-1770s, when they seem to have fallen out with each other.

Boswell dined with Hay, William Forbes, William Scott and Robert Arbuthnot on August 15, 1773, during Dr Johnson's stay in Edinburgh, before Johnson and Boswell set out on their tour of Scotland and the Hebrides. Hay has, however, the dubious honour of being one of a few people in Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, who is not mentioned by name but merely referred to as "another gentleman". His identity is established by Boswell's notes and journals.

Boswell refers to Hay a couple of times in his journal in 1777, writing that "I was disgusted with the vulgarity of Braxfield and with Hay’s fulsome flattery of him" (January 25, 1777), and "Charles Hay there. Disgusting meanness. Vexed to recollect intimacy with such." (July 12, 1777)

John Hamilton of Sundrum

Name
John Hamilton
First name
John
Last name
Hamilton
Born 1739
Died 1821
Gender
0
Biography

Son of John Hamilton and Margaret Montgomery. Married to Lillias Montgomerie,1 with whom he had several children.

  • 1. Lillias Montgomerie was a sister to Hugh Montgomerie of Coilsfield, who succeeded to the title of 12th Earl of Eglinton upon the death of his third cousin, Archibald Montgomerie (d. 1796), the 11th Earl.
Life with Boswell

Boswell introduced Hamilton to Dr Johnson on August 15, 1773, in Edinburgh. He described Hamilton as "my neighbour in the country".

Robert Arbuthnot of Haddo

Name
Robert Arbuthnot
First name
Robert
Last name
Arbuthnot
Born 1729
Died November 05, 1803
Place of death
in Edinburgh
Gender
0
Biography

Son of Robert Arbuthnot (1694?-1756), 1st Baronet of Haddo-Rattray, and Mary Petrie (1695?-1756). Married (1759) to Mary Urquhart (1745-1818), with whom he had four children,  Robert (1760-1809), Elizabeth (1765-1841)1, George (1772-1843)2 and William (1766-1829).3

Arbuthnot was a merchant in Peterhead, before moving to Edinburgh at some time before 1772, settling as a banker. He was for many years Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Encouragement of the Manufacturers and Fisheries of Scotland, retaining the position until his death in 1803. He was succeeded in this position by his son William.

He was possessed of a genial and attractive disposition, and he counted among his friends the poet and philosopher James Beattie, as well as Sir Robert Murray Keith, British Ambassador in Vienna.4

  • 1. Elizabeth married Sir John Hunter, sometime Consular-General of Spain, with whom she had two daughters, Jane and Margaret.
  • 2. George married Elizabeth Fraser (1792-1834), with whom he had two children, Mary (1812-1859) and George (1815-1895).
  • 3. William married Anne Alves (d. 1846), with whom he had five children. He became a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1800, and he followed his father as Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Encouragement of the Manufactures and Fisheries of Scotland. He also twice served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh (1815-1817 and 1821-1823).
  • 4. For further details about Robert Arbuthnot of Haddo and the Arbuthnot family, see Memories of the Arbuthnots of Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire published in 1920 by Mrs. P. S-M. Arbuthnot.
Life with Boswell

Boswell presented Arbuthnot to Dr Johnson in Edinburgh on August 15, 1773, a few days before Johnson and Boswell set out on their tour of Scotland and the Hebrides. Boswell wrote of him, in Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, that he was "a relation of the celebrated Dr. Arbuthnot, and a man of literature and taste. To him we were obliged for a previous recommendation which secured us a very agreeable reception at St. Andrews, and which Dr. Johnson in his Journey1 ascribes to "some invisible friend"."

  • 1. Ten years before Boswell published his account of their journey, Dr Johnson had written A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland (1775).

Robert Ord - Lord Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer

Name
Robert Ord
First name
Robert
Last name
Ord
Born 1700
Died February 12, 1778
Place of death
in Edinburgh
Gender
0
Alias
Chief Baron Ord of the Exchequer
Biography

Robert Ord was a British lawyer and politician, who succeeded to the high office of Chief Baron of the Scottish Exchequer (1755-1775).

Ord was the son of John Ord, attorney and sometime Under-Sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and his second wife, Anne Hutchinson. He studied Law at Lincoln's Inn, qualifying as an advocate in 1724. 

From 1734 to 1741 he served as Member of Parliament for Mitchell in Cornwall, and from 1741 to 1755 for Morpeth in Northumberland. He was Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1742–43), and Deputy Cofferer of the Household (1743–44) before, in 1755, he was appointed Chief Baron of the Scottish Exchequer, a position he kept until a few years before his death.

Ord married Mary, a daughter of Sir John Darnell, kt., with whom he had at least two children, Elizabeth1 and John (1729-1814)2

  • 1. Elizabeth Ord married Robert Macqueen, Lord Braxfield, as his second wife.
  • 2. John Ord was educated at Hackney and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1750, and afterwards obtained a lay fellowship. In 1762 he married Eleanor Simpson, a daughter of John Simpson, Esq. of Bradley in the County of Durham. In 1777 he became Attorney-General for the Duchy of Lancaster, and in 1778 Master in Chancery. He continued serving in both offices until a few years before his death. He was M.P. successively for Midhurst, Hastings, and Wendover (1774–1790), and was some time Chairman of ways and means in the House of Commons. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and died on June 6, 1814.
Life with Boswell

Boswell went with William Forbes, William Scott and Dr. Johnson to a sermon in the English chapel in Edinburgh on August 15, 1773. Following the sermon, Boswell "obtained promise from Lord Chief Baron Ord that he would dine at my house next day. I presented Mr. Johnson to his lordship, who politely said to him, "I have not the honour of knowing you, but I hope for it and to see you at my house. I am to wait on you tomorrow."

Boswell further noted, in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, that "This respectable English judge will be long remembered in Scotland, where he built an elegant house and lived in it magnificently. His own ample fortune, with the addition of his salary, enabled him to be splendidly hospitable. [...] Lord Chief Baron Ord was on good terms with us all, in a country filled with jarring interests and keen parties; and, though I well knew his opinion to be the same with my own, he kept himself aloof at a very critical period indeed, when the Douglas Cause shook the sacred security of birthright in Scotland to its foundation."

George Carr - Reverend

Name
George Carr
First name
George
Last name
Carr
Born February 16, 1704
Place of birth
in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Died August 18, 1776
Place of death
in Edinburgh
Gender
0
Biography

Long-time reverend of the English Episcopal Chapel in Edinburgh.

Carr was born in Newcastle and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. In 1726 he was appointed under-usher of the Royal Grammar School in St. Mary's Hospital in Newcastle, before, in 1737, moving to Edinburgh to become Senior Clergyman of the Episcopal Chapel in Edinburgh, a position which he kept until his death in 1776.

Following his death, his sermons were published in numerous editions by Sir William Forbes and others.

Life with Boswell

Boswell, William Forbes and William Scott accompanied Dr Johnson to the English chapel in Edinburgh on August 15, 1773, to hear a sermon by Rev. Carr. Boswell, in Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, lamented that "Johnson did not attend to the sermon, Mr. Carr's low voice not being strong enough to reach his hearing". He further noted, however, that Carr's sermons had "since his death, been published by Sir William Forbes, and the world has acknowledged their uncommon merit."

 

Literature

Various editions of Carr's sermons are available online on Google Books. Like many other similar works from the 18th century, they are, however, much more difficult to find in their original printed editions. It is sometimes possible to find 1st or 2nd editions via the AbeBooks used books search engine by searing for author "carr" and title "sermons", but beware of print-on-demand books.

Veronica Boswell - daughter of the Biographer

Name
Veronica Boswell
First name
Veronica
Last name
Boswell
Born March 15, 1773
Died September 26, 1795
Gender
1
Biography

Daughter of James Boswell (1740-1795) and Margaret Montgomerie (1738-1789).

Veronica died just four months after her father at the age of just 22.

Life with Boswell

When Dr Johnson arrived to see Boswell in Edinburgh at the beginning of their tour together through Scotland in August 1773, Veronica was Boswell's only living child, although just four months old. In Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides Boswell described how "Mr. Johnson was pleased with my daughter Veronica, [who] had the appearance of listening to him. His motions seemed to her to be intended for her amusement, and when he stopped, she fluttered and made a little infantine noise, and a kind of signal for him to begin again. She would be held close to him, which was a proof from simple nature that his figure was not horrid. Her fondness for him endeared her still more to me, and I declared she should have five hundred pounds of additional fortune."

For more than a century, it was thought that Boswell did not eventually follow through with his promise to grant his daughter an additional fortune. However, in 1937, a document was discovered by Colonel Isham, drawn up by Boswell on March 3, 1795, reading in part:

I, James Boswell, Esquire, of Auchinleck in the Country of Ayr, from the love which I have for my daughter Veronica Boswell, and also in consideration of myu having said that I would give her five hundred pounds of additional fortune when I was pleased with her infantine attention to my illustrious friend Doctor Samuel Johnson when he was in Scotland, do give and grant to her ... five hundred pounds sterling lawful money of Great Britain.1

Sadly, Veronica died before the grant was paid, and her funeral bills were charged against the bequest. The remainder was divided among her brothers, Alexander and James, and sister, Euphemia.

William Scott - 1st Baron Stowell

Name
William Scott
First name
William
Last name
Scott
Born October 17, 1745
Place of birth
in Heworth near Newcastle upon Tyne

Died January 28, 1836
Place of death
at Erleigh Court
Gender
0
Alias
1st Baron Stowell
Biography

William Scott was an English judge, jurist and Member of Parliament.

William Scott's father (also named William Scott) was a tradesman working for a coal fitter's business. The young Scott was educated at Newcastle Royal Grammar School, before going to Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, where he later (1773-1785) became the   Camden Professor of Ancient History. Around 1780 he graduated as Doctor of Civil Law, and he soon embarked on a distinguished legal career, eventually becoming, in 1798, judge of the High Court of Admiralty. 

He unsuccessfully tried getting elected for parliament for Oxford University in 1780, but had more luck some years later, when in 1784 he was elected M.P. on a so-called double return1 for the constituency of Downton, which was also the reason why Boswell referred to him as "Mr. Scott of University College, Oxford (now Dr. Scott of the Commons) in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, published in 1785. He was, however, unseated that same year on a petition. 

He did not again seek election until 1790 when he was successfully elected Member of Parliament for Downton. He sat for this constituency until 1801, when he was finally elected for Oxford University as "a single instance of a professional man representing the university".2 

Scott was married twice. In 1781 he married Anna Maria (d. 1809), daughter of John Bagnall of Erleigh Court, with whom he had four children, only one of whom, their daughter Marianne, survived her father. In 1813 he married Louisa-Catherine, the widow of John, the late Marquess of Sligo.

William Scott's younger brother, John (1751-1838) also became a politician, who rose to serve as Lord Chancellor of Britain for almost three decades (1801-1806, 1807-1827)

Life with Boswell

Scott accompanied Dr Johnson on the road from Newcastle to Edinburgh during the last stage of the latter's journey from London to Edinburgh, where Johnson was going to meet Boswell to go on their famous tour of Scotland. Boswell, apparently, had not met Scott before, but wrote in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides of their first meeting in Edinburgh at Boyd's Inn1 on August 14, 1773, that "Mr. Scott's amiable manners and attachment to our Socrates [Johnson] at once united me to him." 

During their stay in Edinburgh, Johnson stayed in Boswell's house in James's Court, while Boswell noted sincerely regretting that he did not also have a room for Mr Scott. Scott came to breakfast on the next day, August 15, however, and he and Johnson were introduced to Boswell's friend, the banker William Forbes.

When Johnson and Boswell set up from Edinburgh on August 18, Boswell would "gladly have had Mr. Scott to go with us, but he was obliged to return to England."

  • 1. Boyd's Inn was located on the site that is now the corner building of St. Mary's St. and Boyd's Entry. Engraved in the wall near the corner is the text "Boyd's Inn at which D.Samuel Johnson arrived in Edinburgh 14. August 1773, on his memorable tour to the Hebrides, occupied the larger part of the site of this building."

James Beattie - Poet and Philosopher

Name
James Beattie
First name
James
Last name
Beatties
Born October 25, 1735
Place of birth
at Laurencekirk in Kincardineshire, Scotland

Died August 18, 1803
Place of death
in Aberdeen
Gender
0
Biography

James Beattie was a Scottish poet and philosopher, best known for his Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth (1770) and his poem The Minstrel (1771). Married (1767) to Mary Dunn, with whom he had two sons, James Hay (d. 1790) and Montagu (d. 1796).

Beattie was born in 1735, the son of a shopkeeper and small farmer. He was educated at Marischal College in Aberdeen, where he formed a lifelong friendship with abolitionist James Ramsay. In 1757 he was appointed master at Aberdeen Grammar School, and just a few years later in 1760, at the young age of 24, he became Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic at his alma mater Marischal College, supposedly due to the influence of his friend Robert Arbuthnot of Haddo.

In 1770 he wrote the Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, as an answer to the theories of David Hume. This gained him instant fame and led to an introduction to King George III, a government pension of £200 and the degree of LL.D. from Oxford. In 1771 and 1774 respectively was published the two volumes of his poem The Minstrel, which even won him the praise of Dr Johnson himself. Beattie had met the poet Thomas Gray some years earlier, during the latter's journey into Scotland, and Johnson wrote in his Lives of the Poets (1779-1781), that "[Gray] naturally contracted a friendship with Dr. Beattie, whom he found a poet, a philosopher, and a good man."

In 1783 Beattie was co-founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In contrast to his professional career, his personal life was marred with some degree of tragedy. In 1767 he married Mary Dunn, a daughter of the Rector of the Aberdeen Grammar School, and she bore him two sons. Mary, however, suffered from some unidentified mental disease and was eventually committed to Musselburgh Asylum. As if that wasn't bad enough, his two promising sons died in 1790 and 1796 respectively, at the ages of 22 and 18.

Following Beattie's death in 1803, An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LL.D., including many of his Original Letters was written by his friend, the eminent banker and literary executor of James Boswell, Sir William Forbes. It was published in 1806.

Life with Boswell

In 1773, Beattie was one of those illustrious Scots whom Boswell asked to extend invitations to Dr. Johnson in order to attract him to visit Scotland. Boswell wrote to Beattie from London that

"I now seriously believe Mr. Samuel Johnson will visit Scotland this year, but I wish that power power of attraction may be employed to secure our having so valuable an acquisition; and therefore I hope you will without delay write to me what I know you think, that I may read it to the mighty sage with proper emphasis, before I leave London, which I must do soon."1

As it happened, Beattie was in Edinburgh when he received the letter, and about to leave for London, and he promised in his short reply to Boswell, that "[I] hope to have the honour of paying my respects to Mr. Johnson and you about a week or ten days hence [in London]. I shall then do what I can to enforce the topic you mention [...]".2 

Literature

Beattie's works, including The Judgement of Paris (1765), An Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth (1770), The Minstrel; or, The Progress of Genius (1771 and 1774), Dissertations Moral and Critical (1783), and his Elements of Moral Science (1790 and 1793, 2 vols.) are all available via AbeBooks, as is Sir William Forbes' An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LL.D.