The appointee, Alexander Boswell, was father of Samuel Johnson’s biographer, James BoswellThis is a very rare high-level judicial appointment of a British monarch, the first we have hadThe Lord President of the Court of Session was the most senior judge in Scotland, the head of the judiciary, and the presiding judge of the College of Justice and the Court of Session. He was also the Lord Justice General of Scotland. The High Court of Justiciary was the supreme criminal court of Scotland. It was founded in 1672, but its origins derive from the College of Justice, as well as from the medieval royal courts and barony courts.Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck, was the father of the author and biographer James Boswell, and grandfather of songwriter Sir Alexander Boswell. He is noted for the rescuing of the Auchinleck manuscript in 1740 from a professor of the University of Aberdeen who was in the process of destroying it. He donated the manuscript to the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh. He frequently argued with his son, James, on matters such as Boswell's career choice, his publishing methods and routes of travel, his friends and even his choice of wife.Document signed, July 5, 1755, to the Duke of Argyll, Justice General for Scotland, informing him that “being well informed of the loyalty, literature, and good qualifications of Alexander Boswell”, he is appointing him a Lord of the Judiciary (senior judge of the Supreme Court) of Scotland. “Understanding that there is a place of one of the commissioners of our justiciary now vacant by the death of Hugh Dabrynmple of Dromore…; And it being reasonable that a person of loyalty, knowledge, and experience in the laws should be preferred thereto to the end that in default of the ordinary number of our commissioners of justiciary in that part of our Kingdom of Great Britain called Scotland, there be no hindrance in the Administration of Justice; And we being well informed of the loyalty, literature and good qualifications of Alexander Boswell of Auchenleck, and of his abilities and willingness to serve us in the aforesaid trust; therefore we have thought fit to nominate and present him unto you, requiring you to admit and receive him as one of your number; and we hereby ordain him to have and enjoy all honors and privileges therefore belonging, with vote amongst you and to be participant of your salaries; taking his oath as use is as you will have justice to be administered.”This is a very rare high-level judicial appointment of any British monarch, this being the first we have had. (Inventory #: 11090)
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