a border surname, (from a manor-house, or place where courts were
held), and common both to England and Scotland.
A family of
this name holds the lands of Dunglass in East Lothian, and possesses a
baronetcy, conferred, Oct. 9 1687, on John Hall of Dunglass. This
gentleman married, 1st, Anne, daughter of Sir Patrick Hume,
8th baron of Polwarth, without issue; 2dly, Margaret,
daughter of George Fleming, Esq., of Kilcouber, with issue. His eldest
son, Sir James, 2d baronet, was also twice married, 1st, to
Lady Anne Hume, daughter of the earl of Marchmont; and, 2dly, to
Margaret, daughter of Sir John Pringle, of Stitchel, baronet; dying in
1742, he left, with other children, a son, Sir John, 3d baronet, who
was one of the jury for the trial of the rebels at Edinburgh 1748. On
his death July 3, 1776, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir James,
4th baronet, distinguished for his writings on architecture
and the sciences, of whom a memoir is given below. His eldest son, Sir
John, 5th baronet, succeeded June 23, 1832. Of his second
son, Captain Basil Hall, R.N., a memoir also follows. Sir John died
April 2, 1860, when his son, Sir James, born in 1824, became 6th
of Haugh-head, a devoted adherent of the Covenant, rendered himself
conspicuous after the year 1661, by the countenance which he gave to
the persecuted preachers, and by his own zeal for the gospel. His
estate lay in the parish of Eckford in Teviotdale, and he hesitated
not to give his ground for field-preaching when few else would venture
to do so. He had an active part in most of the transactions of the
Covenanters, and was one of the commanding officers in their army from
the skirmish at Drumclog, to the defeat at Bothwell Bridge, in June
1679. He afterwards escaped to Holland, but soon returned home, and
lurked, chiefly in company of Mr. Cargill, in Fifeshire, and in the
neighbourhood of Queensferry, where they were surprised by Middleton,
governor of Blackness castle, on the 3d June 1680, when his brave
resistance secured the escape of Cargill, but he was himself mortally
wounded in the struggle that ensued, and died in his way to Edinburgh,
a prisoner. Upon him was found a rude draught of an unsubscribed
paper, afterwards called the “Queensferry Paper,” from the place where
it was seized, which is inserted in the Appendix to Wodrow’s History.
HALL, SIR JAMES,
of Dunglass, eminent for his attainments in geological and chemical
science, and author of a popular work on gothic Architecture, was the
eldest son of Sir John, the third baronet, by Magdalen, daughter of
Sir Robert Pringle of Stitchell, Berwickshire, and was born at
Dunglass in East Lothian, January 17, 1761. He succeeded, on his
father’s death, to the baronetcy, July 3, 1776. After studying for
some years at Christ’s college, Cambridge, he proceeded, with his
tutor, on a tour to the Continent, and on his return to Edinburgh,
attended some of the classes in the university of that city. In 1782
he again visited the Continent, where he remained for more than three
years. At the military academy for young noblemen formerly existing at
Brienne in France, he was the fellow-student of the Emperor Napoleon,
and as the latter declared to his son, Captain Basil Hall, at St.
Helena, he was the first native of Great Britain whom he recollected
to have seen. On his return to Scotland, he devoted himself to
geological investigations, and particularly distinguished himself by
his experiments to illustrate Dr. Hutton’s Theory of the Earth,
especially with reference to the fusion of stony substances, whereby
he established the identity of the composition of whinstone and lava.
He likewise ascertained that carbonate of lime, as common marble,
might be fused without decomposition, if subjected to a degree of
pressure equal to that of the water of the sea at the depth of about a
mile and a half from the surface. The result of his inquiries, which
tended to establish the truth of the igneous origin of minerals, and
to vindicate the authority of Dr. James Hutton, in opposition to the
theory of Werner, he embodied in an elaborate paper, which was read
before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, of which he was president, in
1806, and published in their Transactions, as were also several other
valuable contributions from his pen.
In 1808 Sir
James was returned to parliament for the borough of St. Michael’s, in
Cornwall, but after the dissolution of 1812 he did not again offer
himself as a candidate. He died at Edinburgh, after a long illness,
June 23, 1832. He married, November 10, 1786, Lady Helena Douglas,
second daughter of Dunbar, third earl of Selkirk, by whom he had three
sons and three daughters.
Hall’s works are:
Essay on the
Origin, Principles, and History of Gothic Architecture. 1813, 4to.;
with six plates. On the same, Trans. Soc. Edin. 1796, vol. iv. 3.
and Lava. Trans. Soc. Edin. 1805. Vol. iv. 3. Ib. Nicholson’s Jour.
Ii. P. 185.
Account of a
Series fo Experiments, showing the effects of Compression, in
modifying the Action of Heat. Ib. 71. Ib. Nicholson’s Journal, xiii.
Vertical Position and Convolutions of certain Strata, and their
relation to Granite. Ib. 1815. Vol. vii. 79.
Revolutions of the Earth’s Surface. Ib. 139. 169.
on the Effects of Heat, modified by Compression. Nicholson’s Journal,
ix. 98. 1804.
an eminent traveller and author of various works, second son of the
preceding, was born at Edinburgh in 1788. He entered the royal navy in
1802, and in 1808 received his first commission as lieutenant. In
1813, when acting commander of the Theban on the East India station,
he accompanied Sir Samuel Hood, the admiral, in a journey over the
greater part of the island of Java. The following year he was promoted
to the rank of commander, and in 1817 to that of post-captain. Having
been appointed to the command of the Lyra, a small gun-brig, he
accompanied the expedition which, in the year 1816, took out Lord
Amherst as ambassador to China. On this occasion he visited the places
of greatest interest in the adjacent seas, and on his return to
England, he published ‘A Voyage of Discovery to the Western Coast of
Corea and the great Loo-Choo Island in the Japan Sea,’ which, from the
interesting nature of its contents, excited great attention. In 1827
it formed the first volume of Constable’s Miscellany; and in this
edition Captain Hall gave an interesting account of his interview with
the exiled emperor Napoleon at St. Helena, when the conversation
chiefly related to Loo-Choo and its inhabitants.
He was next
employed on the South American station in command of the Conway. The
Spanish colonies of South America were then in the midst of their
struggle for independence; and on his return to England in 1823, he
published Extracts from his Journal, written while on that station.
Captain Hall omitted no opportunity of ‘taking notes’ wherever he
went, with the view of publication. An instance of this practice,
somewhat obtrusively displayed, is mentioned in Lockhart’s Life of
Scott, on occasion of his visiting Abbotsford at Christmas 1824. “One
of the guests,” says Lockhart, “was Captain Basin Hall, always an
agreeable one; a traveller and a savant, full of stories and
theories, inexhaustible in spirits, curiosity, and enthusiasm. Sir
Walter was surprised and a little annoyed on observing that the
captain kept a notebook on his knee while at table, but made no
remark.” Various extracts from the Journal which he kept at Abbotsford
are given in the Life of Scott by his son-in-law. In 1825 he married
Margaret, youngest daughter of Sir John Hunter, consul-general for
Spain, and in April 1827, he and his wife and child sailed from
Liverpool for the Unites States, where they remained above a year,
during which period Captain Hall travelled nearly nine thousand miles.
The result of his travels he afterwards published. In 1834 he met at
Rome the countess Purgstall, a Scotch lady married to an Austrian
nobleman, formerly Miss Cranstoun, the sister of Mrs. Dugald Stewart,
and of Lord Corehouse, a lord of session. From her he accepted an
invitation to visit her schloss or castle, near Gratz in Styria, and
his work entitled ‘Schloss Heinfeld, or a Winter in Lower Styria,’ was
the result of his notes during his residence there. It was a
supposition of his that Die Vernon in Sir Walter Scott’s romance of
Rob Roy was sketched from this lady before she left Scotland. He
afterwards published an account of a visit to Madame de Purgstall,
during the last moments of her life. In the summer of 1831, when Sir
Walter Scott’s prostrated strength rendered a cessation of his
literary labours necessary, and he was recommended to go to Italy for
the improvement of his health, Captain Hall addressed a letter,
unknown to him, to Sir James Graham, then first lord of the admiralty,
suggesting that a government vessel should be placed at his disposal;
and the Barham frigate being ordered for the purpose, Sir Walter
embarked on board of her at Portsmouth on the 27th October
of that year. In his third series of ‘Fragments of Voyages,’ some
interesting details are given of the great novelist’s departure,
Captain Hall having gone to Portsmouth to show him all the attention
in his power.
Captain Hall was seized with mental aberration, when he was placed in
the Royal Hospital, Haslar, Portsmouth, where he died, 11th
September 1844, in his 56th year. He was a fellow of the
Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, and a member of the
Astronomical Society of London. – His works are:
A voyage of
Discovery to the Western Coast of Corea, and the great Loo-Choo Island
in the Japan Sea, with an Appendix, and a Vocabulary of the Loo-Choo
Language, by H.J. Clifford. London, 1818, 4to. 2d edition, without
Appendix and Vocabulary, 1820; Constable’s Miscellany, 1st
vol. Edinburgh, 1827.
China in the Lyra, along with Lord Amherst’s Embassy. London, 1818.
from a Journal written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico, in
the years 1820, 1821, and 1822; with an Appendix containing a Memoir
on the Navigation of the South American Station; also various
scientific notices, and a paper ‘On the Duties of Naval
Commanders-in-chief on the South American Station before the
appointment of Consuls.’ Edin. 1824, 2 vols. 8vo. Constable’s
Miscellany, vols. ii. And iii. 1827.
North America, in the years 1827 and 1828. Edin. 1829, 3 vols, 12mo.
Voyages and Travels, including Anecdotes of a Naval Life, chiefly for
the use of young persons. First Series, Edin, 1831, 3 vols. 16mo.
Second Series, Edin. 1832, 3 vols, 16mo. Third Series, Edin, 1833, 3
vols. 16mo. The admiralty directed the ‘Fragments of Voyages,’ with
Loo-Choo, and Captain Hall’s work on North America, to be included in
the Seamen’s Libraries established on board ships of war.
Heinfeld, or a Winter in Lower Styria. Edinb. 1836. 12mo.
London, 1841, 3 vols. 8vo. This, his last work, consists of detached
papers, embracing recollections of foreign travel, incidents worked
into short tales, and a few Essays.
Transactions of the Royal Society, he contributed An Account of the
Geology of the Table Mountain and other parts of the peninsula of the
Cape (1815. Vol. vii. p. 169); Details of Experiments made with an
invariable Pendulum in South America, and other Places, for
determining the figure of the Earth; and Observations made on a Comet
other Scientific papers are, A Sketch of the Professional and
Scientific Objects which might be aimed at in a Voyage of Research;
and A Letter on the Trade Winds, in the Appendix to Daniell’s
Meteorology; with contributions to Brewster’s Journal, Jameson’s
Journal, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
an eminent army surgeon, descended from the ancient family of the
Halls of Haugh-head in Roxburghshire, was born there in 1873. He
received his education at the grammar school of Jedburgh, and having
duly qualified himself for the medical department of the navy, he
sailed for the West Indies as surgeon’s first mate of the Ruby, 74. At
the conclusion of the war he returned to England, acting surgeon on
board a frigate. The solicitation of an uncle induced him to quit the
service and to repair to Edinburgh, where he took his degree of M.D.
He afterwards established his residence in London, and distinguished
himself by contributing to several medical periodical works and
editing others. He subsequently entered the army as surgeon, in which
capacity he served for nearly twelve years; after which he joined the
expedition to the Niger, having been appointed to accompany the
military division as the medical officer. Unfortunately, an injury he
received by an accidental fall into the hold of the vessel, while
outward-bound, acted, in conjunction with the unhealthiness of the
climate of Senegal, so strongly on his constitution, that, in the
course of a few weeks, he was compelled to proceed to Madiera, as the
only chance of preserving his life. He afterwards returned to Europe,
but his health was never fully re-established. He died in 1824. He was
the author of a great variety of medical tracts, with various other
papers inserted in the London medical and physical Journal, between
the years 1800 and 1810. He likewise left behind him several useful
manuscripts, among which are some valuable remarks on the Medical
Topography of Senegal.