Our Legal Heritage

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No matter how bitter, few divorces end with the murder of the presiding judge. But in one case from Scotland's bloody legal history, an irate husband, incensed at having to pay aliment to his ex-wife, took the ultimate revenge on the sitting judge: The Lord President Sir George Lockhart of Carnwath.

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A routine Friday morning turned “surreal” for members of Faculty and staff when the Dalai Lama paid an unannounced visit. On 22 June, 2012, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism was on a UK tour, and had engagements in the Signet Library and the National Library of Scotland in Edinbur

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Graham Ogilvy enjoys a new presentation of the famous denouement of demagogue Joe McCarthy at the hands of Boston lawyer Joseph N Welch. It is an epic moment in American legal history that played out live on US television – and now new light is shed on the withering exchanges between veteran B

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May 8th 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day – the end of the Second World War in Europe. During the six long years of conflict, the WS Society kept a scrapbook of news about Writers to the Signet in service at home and abroad. James Hamilton introduces this poignant resource. One mornin

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Robert Pirrie WS, chief executive of the WS Society, tells the story of William Roughead, the Edinburgh lawyer who became the father of the ‘true crime’ genre and the celebrated trial for murder of Miss Madelaine Smith. Amongst the many remarkable collections of the Signet Library,

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This week marks the 30th anniversary of the world’s largest unsolved art theft, in which 13 pieces worth around $500 million, including paintings by famous artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

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He has attained folk hero status as a sort of Scottish Robin Hood and at Burns Suppers around the country this weekend his execution will be recalled with performances of ‘Macpherson’s Farewell’ also known as Macpherson’s ‘Rant’ or ‘Lament’. But who wa

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It might be stretching things a bit to describe this football match in 1980 as part of our legal heritage but it does reflect the days when local faculties ran their own football teams – a practice now in decline – although we were pleased yesterday to report that the Glasgow Bar is mak

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As you would expect of properties in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Faculty of Advocates’ Lord Reid Building and Mackenzie Building are steeped in history. The Lord Reid Building, behind 142 High Street, is within an enclosed court and accessed via the pend known as New Assembly Close. It h

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In 1937 a story emerged in the Irish press about a girl from Glasgow called Julia Clarke who had been sentenced, in absentia, to one month's imprisonment for “kissing a boyfriend in public”. Ms Clarke and the (notably unnamed) local boy had been seen kissing on church property in Blackro

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