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The Scottish Nation

HONYMAN, the surname of a family in Orkney, which possesses a baronetcy, descended from Bishop Andrew Honyman, who married Mary Stewart, heiress of Graemsay, and representative of the earls of Orkney of that name. In 1643 he was made colleague to Mr. Robert Blair in St. Andrews by the presbytery of that city. He was afterwards archdeacon of St. Andrews, and succeeded Bishop Sydserf in the see of Orkney in 1664, being consecrated on 10th April of that year. On 11th July 1668, when stepping into the coach of Archbishop Sharp on the High-street of Edinburgh, he received a shot in his wrist with a poisoned bullet, intended for sharp, fired by a preacher of the name of James Mitchell, who had been at the rising of Pentland and had been excepted from the indemnity. On the cry arising that a man was killed, the people began to rush to the spot, but some one saying that “it was only a bishop,” the crowd quietly dispersed. Mitchell escaped at the time, but ten years afterwards was executed for the deed. The wound never healed, and greatly impaired the bishop’s health. He died in February 1676, and was buried in the cathedral church of Kirkwall. He was the author of a work called ‘The Survey of the insolent and infamous libel entitled Naphtali,’ small 4to, 1678, in which he attempts to refute the statements contained in that famous presbyterian publication.

      His great-great-grandson, William Honyman, Lord Armadale, eldest son of Patrick Honyman of Graemsay by his wife, Margaret, daughter and heiress of M’Kay of Strathy (cousin of Lord Reay), was a distinguished judge of the court of session. Born in December 1756, he was admitted advocate 15th February 1777, and appointed sheriffp-depute of Lanarkshire in 1786. On being promoted to the bench, he took his seat, 7th February 1797, with the judicial title of Lord Armadale, from an estate of that name which he inherited from his mother in the county of Sutherland. On 29th June, 1799, he was named one of the lords of justiciary, and created a baronet, 11th May, 1804. He resigned his seat on the bench in 1811, and died at Smyllum Park, his residence in Lanarkshire, June 5th, 1825. He had married in 1777, Mary, eldest daughter of the Right Hon. Robert Macqueen, Lord Braxfield, lord-justice-clerk, and had three sons and three daughters. His eldest son, sir Richard Bemptde Johnston Honyman, second baronet, at one time an officer in the 28th light dragoons, died 23d February 1842, without issue, and was succeeded by his next brother, Sir Ord John Honyman, third baronet, a colonel in the army and major in the grenadier guards (1846); married in 1818 the daughter of Admiral Bowen; issue, two sons and one daughter.

      Another son of the first baronet, Lieutenant-colonel Robert Honyman, 18th foot, distinguished himself in Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercromby, at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope under Sir David Baird, and in the island of Jamaica, where he died of fever Nov. 20, 1809, aged 27.

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