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 also a founding fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1783.

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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