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Sir William Macleod Bannatyne


(Lord Bannatyne)

1743 - 1833

Jurist, judge and author. The son of a lawyer and Jacobite supporter, Bannatyne's aunt, Lady Clanranald, was imprisoned in London for protecting Bonnie Prince Charlie. Bannatyne was called to the Bar in 1765, served as a judge from 1799, as Lord Bannatyne, and was a close friend of the influential Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville (1742 - 1811), who single-handedly commanded the government of Scotland.

Bannatyne was a prominent figure in the Mirror Club, a group dedicated to literature and conviviality largely comprising members of the legal profession. The club published a regular literary news-sheet, The Mirror, between 1779-80 and Bannatyne was a contributor.

He was knighted on his retirement from the bench in 1823 and spent his remaining years living at Whitefoord House in the Canongate (Edinburgh). A respected 'Old Town gentleman', he was one of the last surviving members of the Mirror Club and noted for his anecdotes and knowledge of the political history of the country.


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