1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lockhart, George
LOCKHART, GEORGE (1673–1731), of Carnwath, Scottish writer and politician, was a member of a Lanarkshire family tracing descent from Sir Simon Locard (the name being originally territorial, de Loch Ard), who is said to have accompanied Sir James Douglas on his expedition to the East with the heart of Bruce, which relic, according to Froissart, Locard brought home from Spain when Douglas fell in battle against the Moors, and buried in Melrose Abbey; this incident was the origin of the “man’s heart within a fetterlock” borne on the Lockhart shield, which in turn perhaps led to the altered spelling of the surname. George Lockhart’s grandfather was Sir James Lockhart of Lee (d. 1674), a lord of the court of session with the title of Lord Lee, who commanded a regiment at the battle of Preston. Lord Lee’s eldest son, Sir William Lockhart of Lee (1621–1675), after fighting on the king’s side in the Civil War, attached himself to Oliver Cromwell, whose niece he married, and by whom he was appointed commissioner for the administration of justice in Scotland in 1652, and English ambassador at the French court in 1656, where he greatly distinguished himself by his successful diplomacy. Lord Lee’s second son, Sir George Lockhart (c. 1630–1689), was lord-advocate in Cromwell’s time, and was celebrated for his persuasive eloquence; in 1674, when he was disbarred for alleged disrespect to the court of session in advising an appeal to parliament, fifty barristers showed their sympathy for him by withdrawing from practice. Lockhart was readmitted in 1676, and became the leading advocate in political trials, in which he usually appeared for the defence. He was appointed lord-president of the court of session in 1685; and was shot in the streets of Edinburgh on the 31st of March 1689 by John Chiesley, against whom the lord-president had adjudicated a cause. Sir George Lockhart purchased the extensive estates of the earls of Carnwath in Lanarkshire, which were inherited by his eldest son, George, whose mother was Philadelphia, daughter of Lord Wharton.
George Lockhart, who was member for the city of Edinburgh in the Scottish parliament, was appointed a commissioner for arranging the union with England in 1705. After the union he continued to represent Edinburgh, and later the Wigton burghs. His sympathies were with the Jacobites, whom he kept informed of all the negotiations for the union; in 1713 he took part in an abortive movement aiming at the repeal of the union. He was deeply implicated in the rising of 1715, the preparations for which he assisted at Carnwath and at Dryden, his Edinburgh residence. He was imprisoned in Edinburgh castle, but probably, through the favour of the duke of Argyll, he was released without being brought to trial; but his brother Philip was taken prisoner at the battle of Preston and condemned to be shot, the sentence being executed on the 2nd of December 1715. After his liberation Lockhart became a secret agent of the Pretender; but his correspondence with the prince fell into the hands of the government in 1727, compelling him to go into concealment at Durham until he was able to escape abroad. Argyll’s influence was again exerted in Lockhart’s behalf, and in 1728 he was permitted to return to Scotland, where he lived in retirement till his death in a duel on the 17th of December 1731. Lockhart was the author of Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland, dealing with the reign of Queen Anne till the union with England, first published in 1714. These Memoirs, together with Lockhart’s correspondence with the Pretender, and one or two papers of minor importance, were published in two volumes in 1817, forming the well-known “Lockhart Papers,” which are a valuable authority for the history of the Jacobites.
Lockhart married Eupheme Montgomerie, daughter of Alexander, 9th earl of Eglinton, by whom he had a large family. His grandson James, who assumed his mother’s name of Wishart in addition to that of Lockhart, was in the Austrian service during the Seven Years’ War, and was created a baron and count of the Holy Roman Empire. He succeeded to the estates of Lee as well as of Carnwath, both of which properties passed, on the death of his son Charles without issue in 1802, to his nephew Alexander, who was created a baronet in 1806.
See The Lockhart Papers (2 vols., London, 1817); Andrew Lang, History of Scotland (4 vols., London, 1900). For the story of Sir Simon Lockhart’s adventures with the heart of the Bruce, see Sir Walter Scott’s The Talisman. (R. J. M.)