James Reddie LLD (1775-1852)

James Reddie bust

James Reddie bust

by Colin Campbell

James Reddie was born in Dysart, Fife in November 1775.

He was educated at the High School of Edinburgh and Edinburgh University which he left with a glowing reputation. He moved in lustrous Edinburgh legal circles where the future legal Titans of the day were his friends and equals. They formed an association named, “The Academy of Physics” amongst whose members were a who’s who of the Scottish Enlightenment.

He qualified as an Advocate in 1797 and commenced practice at the Scottish Bar. He developed an interest in Maritime International Law. Choosing not to apply for the Bench, in 1804 his friends persuaded him to apply for the post of Town Clerk of Glasgow (then a growing international port), whereupon the other candidates withdrew their applications, and he was unanimously selected. He was the first Town Clerk to be appointed to Glasgow. Prior to the appointment of a resident Sheriff, this post also included adjudication of the many legal causes before the Council.

After the appointment of Sheriff and having more time to spare James set upon writing many legal textbooks on a variety of subjects from International Law to the Law of Maritime Commerce.

In 1804 he married Charlotte Campbell (born September 1782) and set up home in Fredrick Street, moving later to Blythswood Square.

He died in 1852. He was survived by one daughter, Charlotte; his wife having predeceased him.

(Ack: Royal College of Procurators in Glasgow (image), Sketches of Glasgow Necropolis by George Blair 1957), PO Scottish Directories.

James Reddie monument

James Reddie monument

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