Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 05.djvu/438

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Boswell
Boswell
430


in its first number, 10 Oct. 1821, with equal rancour but less ability attacked Stuart. Squabbles arose between its proprietors, Robert Alexander and Wm. Murray Borthwick, eventuating in several crown prosecutions and appeals to the House of Commons. Stuart, under a judgment obtained by Alexander against Borthwick, got hold of the office papers, and found to his surprise that his enemy was his half-friend Boswell. Boswell had been to London to attend the funeral of his brother James, and returning to Edinburgh of Saturday night, 23 March 1822, found a card of Lord Rosslyn awaiting him. On the 25th came Stuarts challenge. Boswell would neither deny nor apologise, and on the 26th a duel was fought at the farm of Balbarton, near Kirkcaldy, the seconds being Lord Rosslyn for Stuart, and the Hon. John Douglas, afterwards Marquis of Queensberry, for Boswell. Stuart again endeavoured to effect a reconciliation, but Boswell was obstinate. The duel was with pistols fired at a signal, and Boswell was struck and his collarbone shattered. He died at Balmuto, the seat of his ancestors, the next day, 27 March 1822, in the presence of his wife and family, and was buried at Auchinleck.

In person Boswell was of a powerful, muscular figure; he was very fond of field sports from his youth. Lord Cockburn speaks of his jovial disposition, but censures hls overbearing, boisterous love of ridicaling others. Lockhart gives an interesting account of his last evening at Scott's, a few hours before the fatal event. Several circumstances of his doath are reproduced by Scott in the duel scene of ‘St. Ronan’s Well.' It is curious that his only piece of legislation was the taking change of the act (59 Geo. III, c. 70) which aboslished two old Scottish statutes against duelling. His daughter Janet Teresa, wife of Sir William Francis Eliott of Stobs, died 1836. His only son James, who succeeded him as second and last baronet, married Jessie Jane, daughter of Sir James Montgomery Cuninghame, and died 4 Nav. 1857, leaving two daughters, Julia and Emma, still living.

Stuart was tried for wilful murder at the high court of justiciary, Edinburgh, on 10 June 1822. On the trial Henry Cockburn opened and Francis Jeffrey followed. The jury, without retiring, acquitted the prisoner.

[Croker's Boswell, 1848, 212, 240, 270, 458, 468, 555; Nichols's Illust. v. 469; Edin. Ann. Reg. 1820, 1822; Gent. Mag. xcii. i. 365. new series, 1549, 659, 1850, 623; Anderson’s Hist. of Edin. 366; Thomson’s Collection of Airs,' 1809-17; Campbell's Albyn’s Anthol. 1806; Dibdin's Lit. Rem. 1836; Roxburghe (Club) Revels; Andrews's Brit. Journalism; Townsend‘s State Trials, i. 151; Trial of James Stuart, 1822; Dr. Rogers's Modern Scottish Minstrelsy, ii. 204; Dibdin's Biog. Decam. iii. 454; Lockhart’s Scott, pp. 371, 471, 477; Beacon, Edin. 1821; Glasgow Sentinel, 1821-2; Cockburn‘s Memorials. 398; Times, June 26, 1822, and Boswell's Works.]

J. W.-G.


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. He died 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.


BOSWELL, EDWARD (1760–1842), antiquary, was born at Piddletown, Dorsetshire, on 5 April 1760, and practised as a solicitor, first at Sherborne, and afterwards at Dorchester, where he died on 30 Oct. 1842. He published: 1. ‘The Civil Division of the County of Dorset,' Sherborne, 1795, 8vo. 2. ‘The Ecclesiastical Division of the