Scott, William (1674?-1725) (DNB00)

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SCOTT, Sir WILLIAM (1674?–1725), of Thirlestane, Latin lyrist, eldest son of Francis Scott, bart., of Thirlestane, Selkirkshire, and Lady Henrietta, daughter of William Kerr, third earl of Lothian [q. v.], was born after 1673, in which year his parents were married (Frazer, Book of Buccleuch). He was admitted a member of the faculty of advocates on 25 Feb. 1702. On 20 May 1719 he executed a deed of entail of his lands of Thirlestane. He died on 8 Oct. 1725. Scott married, in 1699, Elizabeth, only surviving child of Margaret, baroness Napier, and her husband, John Brisbane, son of an Edinburgh writer. After her decease he married Jean, daughter of Sir John Nisbet of Dirleton, East Lothian, and widow of Sir William Scott of Harden. Francis Scott, son of the first marriage, became the fifth baron Napier (ancestor of Lord Napier and Ettrick) on the death of his grandmother, who was predeceased by his mother.

Scott contributed to Dr. Archibald Pitcairne's ‘Selecta Poemata,’ 1726, proving himself a scholarly writer of sentimental and humorous lyrics, and an adept at macaronic verse. In the preface to the volume his literary merits are highly extolled by several contemporaries. A direct family tradition, starting from his son, assigns to him the somewhat broad but decidedly appreciative and diverting Scottish ballad, the ‘Blythsome Wedding,’ which is also claimed for Francis Sempill [q. v.] Scott's powers no doubt were equal to the achievement; and, though there exists nothing else of like character that is undoubtedly his, the tradition compels attention.

[Douglas's Peerage; Frazer's Book of Buccleuch; Anderson's Scottish Nation; Mark Napier's History of the Partition of the Lennox; Johnson's Musical Museum, ed. Laing; Allan Cunningham's Songs of Scotland.]

T. B.