Falconer, David (DNB00)

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FALCONER, Sir DAVID, of Newton (1640–1686), lord president of the court of session, second son of Sir David Falconer of Glenfarquhar, one of the commissaries of Edinburgh, was born in 1640. He studied law ‘under the eye of his father,’ was admitted advocate 3 July 1661, was appointed one of the commissaries of Edinburgh, and afterwards knighted. He was nominated lord of session 24 May 1676, lord of justiciary 2 March 1678, and president of the court of session 1682. ‘He introduced regulations tending to enlarge the attendance of the judges, which do not, however, seem to have received the approbation of their lordships.’ He sat for the county of Forfar in the parliament of 1685, was chosen a lord of the articles, and was a member of various parliamentary commissions. Falconer died at Edinburgh 12 Jan. 1686, after a four days' illness. He was buried in the churchyard of Old Greyfriars, where there is a monument to his memory. He was twice married, and had a large family. His third daughter, Catherine, was the mother of David Hume. Falconer collected the decisions of the court of session (November 1681–January 1686) up to the last day he sat in court (Edinburgh, 1701). The publisher of the collection describes him as ‘one of the most painful lawyers in his time.’

Falconer's name was appended to a number of official and loyal addresses to Charles II and the Duke of York. Most of them are preserved among the Lauderdale papers.

[Foster's Collectanea Genealogica; Members of Parliament (Scotland), p. 132; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice, p. 405, where the date of death is given as 15 Dec. 1685; Anderson's Scottish Nation, ii. 188; Addit. MSS. 23138 ff. 5, 743, 23244 ff. 33, 35, 37, 39, 28558 f. 34.]

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