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Price: £450.00

  

Memorial for George-James Duke of Hamilton

By Sir Adam Fergusson

1767

Privately Published : Edinburgh

11" by 8"

viii, [2], 20pp; 22pp; 230pp; 311pp; 63pp; 47pp; 17pp; 13pp; 78pp; 68pp; 8pp

 

 

 

DETAILS

The first edition of this fascinating and scarce work regarding this famed legal case that was contested in 1760's Great Britain. The Douglas Case gripped the nation's interest and led to death threats and rioting.

This legal case drew great popularity, with famed literary and political figures in Europe holding an opinion. The likes of David Hume, Adam Smith and Dr Johnson were all vocal regarding the case. This legal case regarded the legitimacy of Lady Jane Douglas' children. Lady Jane Douglas was the sister of Archibald Douglas, 3rd Marquess and 1st Duke of Douglas. Archibald (1694-1761) had a great fortune. He remained unmarried and his sister was his putative heir. In the event of her remaining childless, much of the duke's fortune and his titles would pass to his kinsman, the Dukes of Hamilton. James-Douglas Hamilton is involved in this litigation. In 1746 Lady Jane secretly married Colonel John Stewart, who was regarded as an unsuitable penniless soldier. Lady Jane and Colonel Stewart travelled to the Continent to escape their creditors and two years later Lady Jane admitted the marriage and the fact she was pregnant. She gave birth to twin sons, Archibald and Sholto. Duke Archibald refused to recognise the twins as his sister's children and his heirs. He therefore cut her allowance. Lady Jane and Sholto died in 1753, leaving the young Archibald in the care of Charles Douglas, 3rd Duke of Queensberry. The Duke of Douglas married Margaret Douglas, a distant relative. She persuaded the duke to investigate the legitimacy of Archibald and the deceased Sholto himself. He did so and expressed remorse over his actions, therefore revoking the existing entail of his estates and settling them upon Archibald Stewart. Ten days later, the Duke passed away. Upon Douglas' death, the Marquessate of Douglas and the ancient Earldom of Angus devolved upon the six year old James Douglas-Hamilton the 7th Duke of Hamilton. However, the duke's castles, properties and lands passed to Archibald Stewart who then changed his surname to Douglas. The Hamilton's contested the settlement and this work follows the legal case pursued by the Hamilton's to prove Archibald Stewart as illegitimate. The action was launched in the Court of Session in Edinburgh claiming he had no right to the Douglas inheritance. Each side published memorials, this is the memorial for George James the Duke of Hamilton. The work contains important letters, documents, witness reports, affidavits and citations of Scots and French law. This legal case took a total of 24 lawyers to read speeches to 15 judges. The hearings continued for 21 days, making the case to be the longest ever pleading before the Court of Session. ESTC no. T118950. With the author's name, Sir Adam Fergusson, to the rear of the work at the end of the 'petition'. The full title of this work is 'Memorial for George-James Duke of Hamilton, Marquis of Douglas, Earl of Angus, &c. Lord Douglas Hamilton, and their tutors, and Sir Hew Dalrymple of Northberwick, baronet, pursuers, Against the person pretending to be Archibald Stewart, alias Douglas, only son now on life of the marriage between Colonel John Stewart, afterwards Sir John Stewart of Grandtully, and Lady Jane Douglas, sister-german of Archibald Duke of Douglas, defender. To which are annexed, sequel of the memorial: in which the objections urged by the defender to the conduct of the cause, on the part of the pursuers, are considered; and appendix: containing parallel cases of suppositio partus and remarks on the French cases quoted by the defender'. An important and interesting piece of legal history, regarding an inheritance case that truly gripped the nation.

CONDITION

Rebound, in a quarter calf binding with cloth covered boards. Externally, excellent with minor shelfwear. Internally, firmly bound. Pages are generally bright with occasional light scattered spots. Prior owner's ink signatures to the final two leaves at the margins.

Overall Condition: Very Good Indeed

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Price: £450.00


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