Donald Findlay QC has narrated an audiobook on the divorce case of the Duchess of Argyll – Allan Nicol’s Three Strand Pearl Necklace. The book recounts a tale that scandalised and shocked the country in 1963.
Our Legal Heritage
George Mealmaker, transported in 1798 to Australia for sedition, was a political giant and visionary who deserves to be recognised in Scotland today, writes Graham Ogilvy. The trial of George Mealmaker in 1798 was the last of the great sedition show trials held to suppress the democratic agitat
In many of his works Sir Walter Scott referred to real cases and described real criminal court room procedure, drawing on his legal training and experience as an advocate. He once wrote: His library at Abbotsford contains a copy of the trial of Philip Standsfield. An entry dated March 1797 in his pr
The Faculty of Advocates is proud custodian for the nation of “a most curious Scots relic” from the Battle of Flodden. The standard of a Scottish nobleman which was carried into battle that fateful day – 9 September, 1513 – is now to be found adorning a wall in the Faculty&rs
To celebrate Burns Night, we consider links between Scotland's national Bard and the Faculty of Advocates This year marks the tenth anniversary of a special publication of a Robert Burns book which was discovered in the collection of one of his greatest admirers – the advocate and author Sir W
Dr Karen Baston looks at a particularly acrimonious legal dispute from the eighteenth century over the use of a garden. In February 1760, advocate Walter Steuart presented a petition to the Court of Session on behalf of his client, John Grieve, a taylor in Potter-row.  The petition was part of a
Graham Ogilvy considers one of Scotland’s less celebrated legal innovations – the Scold’s bridle or Branks. As a boy, the Scold’s Bridle exhibited in Dundee’s Albert Museum was an object of gruesome fascination. An accompanying illustration showed how unfortunate women
It is unlikely that any of the former inmates of Peterhead Prison will be beating a path to spend a pleasant afternoon in what must rate as Scotland's most unusual tourist attraction. 'The Hate Factory', as it was dubbed by its guests, is now a museum and was recently nominated for a tourism award.
SLN reflects on one of Scotland's most famous miscarriages of justice as a new play – Oscar Slater - The Trial That Shamed A City – opens at the Òran Mór in Glasgow this week, running until Saturday. Book your tickets here. On 6 May, 1908, Jewish immigrant Oscar Slater
Graham Ogilvy looks at the life of the radical William Davidson. The release last week of Mike Leigh's new film Peterloo telling the story of the notorious 1819 massacre of supporters of parliamentary reform in Manchester brings to mind the intriguing story of William Davidson, a Jamaican-born black
Global attention has recently focused on the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, but Graham Ogilvy reports that the appointment of Scottish lawyer James Wilson as one of the first six SCOTUS justices was also controversial — when Wilson was twice incarcerated in a debtor&rs
In December 1864, Mary Pritchard became seriously ill and experienced retching and headaches. She was suffering the effects of antimony poisoning at the hands of her husband, Dr Edward Pritchard, who would become the last man to be publicly hanged in Glasgow. When her mother, Mrs Jane Taylor, moved
The venerable Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland and its premises in Parliament House are among the jewels in the crown of Scotland’s legal heritage, as SSC secretary Mr Robert Shiels explains. On 1 August 1754 by Act of Sederunt of the Court of Session the
The "whipping stone", which marks the site of medieval flogging in Aberdeen, has once again been revealed. The unassuming 400-year-old relic – a square stone set flush in the ground – lies at the junction of Union Street and Broad Street and has now been restored after having been tarred
In the latest of our occasional series, Graham Ogilvy visits Inveraray Jail and Courthouse. Inveraray Jail and Courthouse occupy one of the most beautiful locations of any of Scotland’s legal establishments and is well worth a visit.