Colville, Alexander (1530?-1597) (DNB00)

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COLVILLE, ALEXANDER (1530?–1597), Scotch judge, was the second son of Sir James Colville of Easter Wemyss, by his wife Janet, second daughter of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven, sister of William Smith, earl of Morton. On 4 Feb. 1566-7 he obtained a charter of the abbey of Culross, and by an act of the secret council, 20 Jan. 1574, it was decreed that 100 marks only should be paid by him for the thirds of this benefice. After the death of Darnley he had supported the party who opposed Queen Mary, and during the regency of Morton he was, some time before 26 Oct. 1575, appointed one of the judges of the court of session. He was a member of the commission appointed by parliament on 15 July 1578 to 'visit, sycht, and consider the laws,' and about the same time he was appointed one of the arbitrators in the deadly feud between the families of Gordon and Forbes. On 11 Nov. of the following year he was named a privy councillor, and appointed a lord of the articles and a commissioner for settling the jurisdiction of the church. He was present at Holyrood House on 19 Oct. 1582, when King James was forced to emit a declaration regarding the raid of Ruthven. After the return of Hamilton and other banished lords in 1585, he was again named a privy councillor. In May 1587, on account of illness, he resigned his seat on the bench in favour of his nephew John Colville, chanter of Glasgow, who was appointed on 1 June, but he was reappointed on the 21st of the same month. In 1592 he was made a commissioner for the reform of the hospitals. He died in April or May 1597. He collected the decisions of the court of session from 1570 to 1584. By his wife Nicolas, daughter of Alexander Dundas of Fingask, he had, with two daughters, two sons: John of Wester Cumbrae, who in 1640 became by right third Lord Colville of Culross, but did not assume the title; and Alexander, justice depute and professor of divinity in the university of St. Andrews.

[Lord Hailes's Catalogue of the Lords of Session; Haig and Brunton's Senators of the College of Justice, 160–2; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), i. 354.]

T. F. H.