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The Scottish Nation

BEATSON, the surname of a family originally situated on the West Marches. At the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries they acquired the lands of Kilrie, Vicarsgrange, Glasmont, North Piteadie, Powguild, Balbardie, Pitkennie, and others, in Fifeshire. Robert Beatson, Esq. of Kilrie, Royal Engineers, married, 1790, Jean, only child of Murdoch Campbell, Esq. of Rossend Castle, Burntisland, of the Caithness Campbells. His grandson, Alexander John Beatson, Esq. of Rossend, is head of the families of this name.

      John Beatson Bell, Esq. of Glenfarg and Kilduncan, represents in the female line a younger branch of the family of Vicarsgrange, which acquired the lands of Mawhill in Kinross-shire, by marriage with the heiress, Marie Grieve.

      Major-general Alexander Beatson, H.E.I.C.S., at one time governor of St Helena, was of the Kilrie family. For a memoir of him see Supplement.

BEATSON, ROBERT, of Vicarsgrange, LL.D., author of some useful compilations, eldest son of David Beatson of Vicarsgrange, and of Jean, daughter of Robert Beatson of Kilrie, was born at Dysart 25th June 1741. His paternal and maternal grandfathers were cousins, the one being the laird of Kilrie and the other of Vicarsgrange. His grandmothers were half sisters, daughter os William Beatson of Glasmont, and cousins of their respective husbands. He obtained an ensigncy in 1756, and the following year accompanied the expedition to the coast of France. He afterwards served as lieutenant, in the attack on Martinique, and the taking of Guadaloupe. In 1766, he retired on half-pay. He obtained the degree of LL.D. from the university of Edinburgh. He had commenced writing a Peerage, which he did not live to complete. Part of the material is contained in one of three volumes of manuscript, entitled ‘Beatson’s Collections,’ in the library of the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh. He sold Vicarsgrange in 1787, and during the latter years of his life was barrack-master at Aberdeen. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, where he died January 24, 1818, ages 87. His works are:

      Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and Ireland, or a Complete Register of the Hereditary Honours, Public Officers, and Persons in Office, from the earliest periods to the present time. Edin. 1786, 8vo. The same. Lond. 1788, 2 vols. 8vo.

      Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain, from the year 1727 to the present time. Lond. 1790, 3 vols. 8vo. Second edition, 1804, 6 vols. 8vo.

      A New and Distinct View of the Memorable Action of the 27th July, 1778, in which the aspersions cast on the Flag Officers are shewn to be totally unfounded. 1791, 8vo.

      An Essay on the Comparative Advantages of Vertical and Horizontal Windmills. Plates. Lond. 1798, 8vo.

      A Chronological Register of both Houses of the British Parliament, from the Union in 1708, to the Third Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1807. Lond. 1808, 3 vols. 8vo.

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