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The Scottish Nation
Handyside


HANDYSIDE, a surname originally Hangingside. Peter Handyside, Greenhall, who married Margaret, daughter of James Vernor of Holms, and left issue, was the representative of the name. His younger brother, William Handyside, writer to the signet, married Jane, daughter of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, and his eldest son, Robert, passed advocate 1822, was appointed sheriff of Stirlingshire in 1840, solicitor general in 1853, and made a lord of session, as Lord Handyside, the same year. He died April 18, 1858. He married Helen, daughter of Alexander Bruce of Kennet. Through his uncle he succeeded to the property of Pencloe, Ayrshire.

From Biographical Dictionary of the Eminent Men of Fife
Of Past and Present Times, Natives of the County, or connected with it by Property, Residence, Office, Marriage, or Otherwise by M. F. Conolly (1866)

HANDYSIDE, Robert, a Lord of Session, was born at Glasgow in 1798, and died at the seat of his brother-in-law, Robert Bruce, Esq. of Kennet and Grangemuir, on the 21st April 1858. His Lordship had for some time been in rather an unsatisfactory state of health, but it was, we believe, a very sudden and brief illness that carried him off. The learned judge passed the Scotch bar in 1822; for some time he filled the office of depute-advocate under the Whig Government; he was appointed sheriff of Stirlingshire in 1840; and in 1853, on the accession of Lord Aberdeen to power, he was chosen solicitor-general; and at the close of the same year, he was selected to fill the vacancy occasioned on the bench by the lamented death of Lord Anderson. His Lordship, who was a judge both in the Courts of Session and Justiciary, acquitted himself during his brief tenure of the judicial office with great ability in both departments of the law. He was the son of a Glasgow merchant, was married, in 1848, to the daughter of the late Alexander Bruce of Kennet, and was in his sixtieth year.

HANDYSIDE, WILLIAM (1793-1850), engineer, was born in Edinburgh in 1793, and, after being apprentice for two years in an architect’s office, accompanied his uncle, Mr. Baird, to St. Petersburg, where the latter had already an established reputation in engineering. Handyside speedily evinced special talent in the same direction, and was employed by the Russian government in important public works of various kinds. He designed the machinery for the imperial arsenal and the imperial glass-works, built many bridges and steam-vessels of all sizes, stationary engines suited to numberless different manufactories—in all cases giving the details of the machinery, and superintending its execution. In 1824 he built four suspension bridges, and contrived an ingenious and most satisfactory machine for testing the strength of the links which support the roadways. His greatest monument as an engineer is the stone and metal work which he executed for the cathedral of St. Isaac in St. Petersburg, including a colonnade of forty-eight granite pillars, each of eight feet diameter and fifty-six feet high, and a circle of thirty-six monolithic pillars (each forty-two feet high), raised two hundred feet above the ground, and surmounted by an iron dome of 130feet diameter. The column erected in memory of the Emperor Alexander, said to be the largest in the world, was raised to its position on a basement thirty feet high in twenty-five minutes, a feat in engineering which is probably even now unexampled. Handyside’s great energy was overtasked in Russia, and when visiting his native town in 1850, he died there on 26 May.
[Proceedings of the Inst. Civ. Engineers, x. 85; Dict. Imp. Biog.] R. E. A.


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