Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Scotland's Lawyer Poets

Sir Richard Maitland

Sir Richard Maitland (Lord Lethington) was born in 1496. He was a poet, lawyer, and statesman. He studied law at the University of St. Andrews and in Paris, served James V, and was keeper of the Great Seal (1562-67) during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1561 he became blind but continued as a judge until 1584. Research Resources: Bannatyne & Maitland Collection, John Rylands University. [Wikipedia]

Sir Thomas Craig


Sir Robert Aytoun

Sir Robert Aytoum was a poet, lawyer, and courtier to James I and Charles I. He was born at Kinaldie Castle. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, receiving his degree in 1588. He then undertook a visit to other parts of Europe and then studied law in Paris in the 1590s. He returned to England in 1603 and was knighted in 1612. He held various political appointments, including Master of the Royal Hospital of St. Katherine, under both James I and Charles I. Aytoum's literary circle included Ben Jonson, William Drummond, Thomas Hobbes, and other literary figures. [Wikipedia]

William Hamilton


John MacLaurin

Alexander Fraser Tytler
Lord Woodhouselee


James Grahame

[James Grahame]

Sir Walter Scott

About Sir Walter Scott | Wikipedia

James Glassford
(    -1845)

Biographical entry in The Dictionary of National Biography. The Concise Dictionary (London: Oxford University Press, 1953)(Part 1, From the beginnings to 1900)

John Gibson Lockhart

See biographical entry in James Grant Wilson, The Poets and Poetry of Scotland 141-149 (Harper & Brothers, 1876)


Charles Neaves

Charles Neaves was a poet, essayist, and member of the Scottish Bar. He was born in Edinburgh and received all his education in Edinburgh. He became a member of the Scotland Bar in 1822. From 1841-1845 he was advocate depute, and from 1845 to 1852 sheriff of Orkney and Shetland. In 1853 he became solicitor-general for Scotland, and from 1853 to 1858 served as a judge in the court of session. From 1858 to his death he was lord of justiciary. Neaves was a frequent contributer of poetry and essays to Blackwood's Magazine, only a small part of his work which has been republished. [Source: British Authors of the 19th Century (1936)][Wikipedia]

Henry Glassford Bell

Henry Glassford Bell was a merchantile lawyer and poet, judge and man of letters, founder of the Edinburgh Literary Journal (1828), and an ardent defendant of the reputation of Mary, Queen of Scots and an author of her vindication (1830) [Henry Glassford Bell]

George Outram

George Outram, Lyrics, Legal and Miscellaneous (1851)


William Henry Smith

John Stuart Blackie

John Stuart Blackie, Lays of the Highlands and Islands
(London: Strahan, 1872)


Thomas Tod Stoddart


William Edmondstoune Aytoun

William Edmondstoune was a poet, novelist, journalist, anthologist, university professor, lawyer,and Sheriff of Orkney and a descendent of Sir Robert Aytoun. He was educated as a lawyer and admitted to the Scottish bar in Edinburgh in 1840. His first book of poetry Poland, Homer, and Other Poems (1832), was followed by a still more successful collection, Lays of the Cavaliers (1848). He was named Professor at University of Edinburgh in 1845 where he wrote fiction, political essays, and translated Goethe. [Wikipedia]

John Roe
(1813- )

Native of Aberdeen; educated at Marischal College; immigrated to Australia

Theodore Martin

Theodore Martin was born in Edinburgh. His father was a solicitor. Educated at the Edinburgh High School, he attended the University of Edinburgh from 1830 to 1833. He was admitted to the Scottish bar, and practiced law in Edinburgh until 1846. He then moved to London where he was a Parliamentary solicitor and agent, alone and in partnership with others, until 1907, when he gave up his work at the age of ninety-one.

Martin was taken into the confidence of Queen Victoria, who chose him to write the life of Prince Albert. He was made C.B. in 1878 and K.C.B. in 1880. In 1881 he was named lord rector of St. Andrews University. He held various offices on the Royal Literary Fund, and was a trustee of Shakespeare's birthplace. He died at the great age of ninety-three. [Source: British Authors of the 19th Century (1936)] [Wikipedia]

Norval Clyne

"Clyne, Norval.—Ballads and Lays from Scottish History, Edinburgh, 1844, 16mo; Ballads from Scottish History, Edinburgh, 1863, 8vo.

Was the son of Captain John Clyne, and born at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, February 21, 1817. Graduated at Aberdeen University, and became a lawyer in that city, where he died, December 31, 1888." [Source: D. J. O'Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of Irish Writers of English Verse 71 (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co.; London: Henry Frowde, Oxford University Press, 1912)(Gale Research Co., reprint 1968)] ["Light in Darkness"]

James Balfour Paul

James Balfour Paul, Ballads of the Bench and Bar or, Idle Lays of the Parliament House (Edinburgh: Privately printed by T. and A. Constable, at the Edinburgh University Press, 1882)


Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

poet, engineer, lawyer, author, and journalist

Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh and educated at Edinburgh Academy. He studied engineering at Edinburgh University, finished his studies in law and became a lawyer in 1875. He seems, even at this early date, to have been more interested in literary matters. He early writing was a series of plays, and he then departed for Europe. His writing following his European travels including Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. In 1883 he achieved fame with the novel Treasure Island. Two years later, A Child's Garden of Verses was published. Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde followed in 1886. In 1889, Stevenson took up residence in Samoa on the estate of Valima. [Wikipedia]

James Urquhart
(1864- )

John Buchan


Jamie Whittle
Jamie Whittle is an environmental lawyer and poet. He is the author of White River (Sandstone Press, 2008), a book of poetry, prose, and meditations.


David Murray, Lawyers' Merriments (Glasgow, Scotland: J. MacLehose and Sons, 1912)

Strangers to Us All: Navigational Links

  Lawyer Poets Around the World

  U.S. Alphabetical Index    U.S. State Index  

   U.S. Chronological Index

   Contemporary Lawyer Poets—United States: A-L

   Contemporary Lawyer Poets—United States: M-Z

  About Poetry

Strangers to Us All—Homepage