Pearson, Alexander (DNB00)

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PEARSON, ALEXANDER (d. 1657), lord of session, under the title of Lord Southall, is supposed to have been the son of Alexander Pearson who was one of the counsel for Lord Balmerino in 1634 (Brunton and Haig, Senators of the College of Justice, p. 338), but not improbably he himself acted as Balmerino's counsel. Possibly also he was the Alexander Pearson who was appointed in 1638 one of a committee to examine if certain registers of the kirk were full and authentic (Baillie, Letters and Journals, i. 129), and in 1641 was appointed, with other advocates, to draw up the summons and libel against Montrose (ib. p. 384). Along with seven others he was in March 1649 nominated a lord of session, in succession to those lords who had been cashiered for their loyalty (Balfour, Annals, iii. 390; Guthry, Memoirs, p. 300). He was also shortly afterwards named one of a committee for the revision of the laws and acts of parliament, a commissioner for the plantation of kirks, and one of the visitors of the university of Edinburgh. He sat as lord of session until the supremacy of Cromwell in 1651 (Nicoll, Diary, p. 76), and in October 1653 he was appointed a commissioner of judicature by the English parliament (ib. p. 115). In 1654 he was conjoined, with Sir John Hope of Craighall, as judge of the high court; but, according to Nicoll, he was ‘not comparable to Sir John Nather [sic] in judgement nor actioun’ (ib. p. 122). In November 1655 he was continued an extraordinary judge (ib. p. 168). He died at Edinburgh on 12 May 1657 (Lamont, Diary, p. 98).

[The authorities mentioned in the text.]

T. F. H.