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Significant Scots
David Erskine


ERSKINE, DAVID,better known by his judicial designation of lord Dun, an eminent lawyer and moral writer, was born at Dun, in the county of Angus, in the year 1670. After receiving his education, partly at the university of St Andrews, and partly at that of Paris, he was, in 1696, called to the Scottish bar, where he soon distinguished himself as a pleader. Though the representative of the celebrated laird of Dun, whose efforts in behalf of the Reformation have endeared his name to the Scottish people, David Erskine was a zealous jacobite, and friend to the non-jurant episcopal clergy. As a member, moreover, of the last Scottish parliament, he gave all possible opposition to the union. In 1711, the tory ministry of queen Anne appointed him one of the judges of the court of session; and in 1713, through the same patronage, he became a commissioner of the court of justiciary. These offices he held till 1750, when old age induced him to retire. In 1754, lord Dun published a volume of moral and political reflections, which was long known under the title of "Lord Dun’s Advices," but is now almost forgotten. His lordship died in 1755, aged eighty-five. By his wife, Magdalen Riddel, of the family of Riddel of Haining, in Selkirkshire, he left a son, John, who succeeded him in his estate, and a daughter, Anne, who was first married to James, lord Ogilvy, son of David, third laird of Airly, and secondly to Sir James Macdonald of Sleat.


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