John Clerk, Lord Eldin

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John Clerk, Lord Eldin

Death: Died in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of John Clerk of Eldin and Susannah Clerk
Brother of William Clerk

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About John Clerk, Lord Eldin

Sir George Clerk Maxwell was a Commissioner of Customs, and a trustee for the. improvement of the fisheries and manufactures of Scotland. His brother, John Clerk of Eldin, was the author of the well-known work on Naval Tactics. He was the father of John Clerk, a distinguished lawyer in Edinburgh, afterwards Lord Eldin, a Lord of Session.


John Clerk, afterwards Lord Eldin of the Court of Session, made a vivid and lasting impression on his contemporaries, and many anecdotes of legal shrewdness and caustic wit still live about his name. A graphic description of him as the Coryphaeus of the Scottish Bar occurs in Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk, Letter xxxii. Quite recently he has appeared again in Carlyle's Reminiscences,6 as the one figure in the Edinburgh law-courts, which remained clearly imprinted on the historian's imagination....

Source: The life of James Clerk Maxwell:with a selection from his correspondence and occasional writings and a sketch of his contributions to science (Google eBook) By Lewis Campbell, William Garnett Macmillan, 1882

From p. 16..

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

"John Clerk, Lord Eldin (1757–1832) was a Scottish judge...

...He was the eldest son of John Clerk of Eldin, and his wife, Susannah Adam, the sister of John Adam and Robert Adam. He was born in April 1757. Though originally intended for the Indian Civil Service, he was apprenticed to a writer to the signet. After serving his articles he practised for a year or two as an accountant, and eventually was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates on 3 December 1785...

...He had an extensive practice at the bar. A keen Whig, on 11 March 1806 he was appointed Solicitor General for Scotland in the Grenville administration, an office which he held during the year that the ministry lasted. His practice at the bar had been for some time falling off, and his health had already begun to fail, when, on 10 November 1823, he was appointed an ordinary Lord of Session in place of William Bannatyne, Lord Bannatyne. Assuming the title of Lord Eldin, he took his seat on the bench 22 November; but his health was poor. After five years of judicial work he resigned in 1828, and was succeeded by Lord Fullerton...

Clerk died unmarried at his house in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, on 30 May 1832."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'John Clerk, Lord Eldin', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 31 October 2012, 01:04 UTC, <,_Lord_Eldin&oldid=520677214> [accessed 3 November 2012]

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John Clerk, Lord Eldin's Timeline

April 1757
May 30, 1832
Age 75
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland