Lawyer and political philosopher. Born in Aberdalgie (Perth and Kinross). Lorimer became an advocate and was appointed Regius Professor of Public Law at the University of Edinburgh (1862). He was an expert on international law and was noted for two publications; namely "The Institutes of Law: A treatise of the principles of jurisprudence, as determined by nature" (1872) and "The Institutes of the Law of Nations: A treatise of the jural relations of separate political communities" (1884). In these he deprecated utilitarianism and both have been criticised for their elitism and support for imperial colonialism, which was reaching its zenith at that time.
Lorimer leased Kellie Castle (Fife), which had been abandoned for around 50 years, and undertook an extensive restoration to make it his family home. The castle is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
Lorimer was the father of noted architect Sir Robert Lorimer (1864 - 1929) and painter John Henry Lorimer (1856 - 1936).