Publications of the Scottish History Society, Volume 36 eBook

John Lauder
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 528 pages of information about Publications of the Scottish History Society, Volume 36.

INTRODUCTION

THE MANUSCRIPTS

There are here printed two manuscripts by Sir John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall, and portions of another.  The first[1] is a kind of journal, though it was not written up day by day, containing a narrative of his journey to France and his residence at Orleans and Poictiers, when he was sent abroad by his father at the age of nineteen to study law in foreign schools in preparation for the bar.  It also includes an account of his expenses during the whole period of his absence from Scotland.  The second,[2] though a small volume, contains several distinct portions.  There are narratives of visits to London and Oxford on his way home from abroad, his journey returning to Scotland, and some short expeditions in Scotland in the immediately following years, observations on public affairs in 1669- 70, and a chronicle of events connected with the Court of Session from 1668 to 1676; also at the other end of the volume some accounts of expenses.  The third[3] may be described as a commonplace book, for the most part written during the first years of his practice at the bar and his early married life, but it also contains some notes of travel in Fife, the Lothians, and the Merse in continuation of those in Ms. H., and a list of the books which he bought and their prices, brought down to a late period of his life.  These manuscripts have been kindly made available to the Scottish History Society by the owners.  The first is in the Library of the University of Edinburgh.  The second is the property of the late Sir William Fraser’s trustees.  The third has been lent by Sir Thomas North Dick Lauder, Fountainhall’s descendant and representative.

    [1] Referred to as Ms. X.

    [2] Marked by Fountainhall H.

    [3] Marked by Fountainhall K.

It was Lord Fountainhalls practice, during his whole life, to record in notebooks public events, and his observations upon them, legal decisions, and private memoranda.  He kept several series of notebooks concurrently with great diligence and method.  In all of those which have been preserved there is more or less matter of value to the student of history.  But at his death his library was sold by public auction.  The MSS. were dispersed, though their existence and value was known to some of his contemporaries.[4] Some are lost, in particular the series of Historical Observes, 1660-1680, which, judging from the sequel, which has been preserved and printed by the Bannatyne Club, would have been of great value.  According to tradition the greater part of what has been recovered was found in a snuff-shop by Mr. Crosby the lawyer, the supposed original of Scott’s Pleydell, and purchased at the sale of his books after his death by the Faculty of Advocates.[5]

    [4] Preface to Forbes’s Journal of the Session, Edinburgh, 1714.

    [5] Ms. Genealogical Roll of the Family of Lauder by the late Sir
        Thomas Dick Lauder, in possession of Sir T.N.  Dick Lauder.

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Publications of the Scottish History Society, Volume 36 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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