Boswell, Claud Irvine (DNB00)

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BOSWELL, CLAUD IRVINE, Lord Balmuto (1742–1824), Scotch judge, was born in 1742. His father, John Boswell of Balmuto, who was the younger brother of James Boswell of Auchinleck, and a writer of the signet in Edinburgh, died when Claud was an infant. At the early age of six he was sent to Mr. Barclay's school at Dalkeith. After finishing his education at Edinburgh University, he was admitted a member of the faculty of advocates on 2 Aug. 1766. On 25 March 1780 he was appointed sheriff depute of Fife and Kinross, and, after serving this office for nineteen years was, upon the death of James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, appointed an ordinary lord of session, and took his seat upon the bench with the title of Lord Balmuto on 21 June 1799. After nearly twenty-three years of judicial work he resigned in January 1822, and was succeeded by William Erskine, Lord Kinedder. The death, under his own roof, of his kinsman, Sir Alexander Boswell, from the effects of a wound received by him in the duel with James Stuart of Dunearn, gave him a shock from which he never entirely recovered. Hedied at Balmuto on 22 July 1824, in his eighty-third year. He was a robust and atiiletic man, with black hair and beetling eyebrows. His manner was boisterous and hls temper passionate. Though fond of joking, a habit he sometimes indulged in on the bench, he was not particularly keen in the perception of wit in others. In 1783 he married Anne Irvine, who, by the death of her brother and grandfather, became the heiress of Kingcussie, and by whom he left one son and two daughters. Two etchings of him will be found in Kay, Nos. 262 and 300.

[Kay's Original Portraits and Etchings (1877), i. 126, 298, ii. 271-8, 380, 384, 386; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice (1832), p. 544; Personal Recollections of Mary Somerville (1873), pp. 55-6.]

G. F. R. B.