CRAIGIE, Robert (c.1685-1760), of Glendoick, Perth.
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Family and Education
b. c.1685, yr. s. of Lawrence Craigie of Kilgraston, Perth by Margaret Scrimgeour. educ. adv. 1710. m. Barbara, da. and h. of Charles Stewart of Carie, at least 2s. 1da.
Ld. adv. 1742-6; ld. pres. of the court of session 1754-d.; commr. of fisheries and manufactures, Scotland 1755.
A younger son, of an old Perthshire family, ‘without powerful friends or insinuating manners’ Craigie made his way at the bar by ‘merit and application’. In 1716, six years after being called, he was appointed one of the crown counsel prosecuting the rebels. In 1719 he became deputy to Robert Dundas, as solicitor general for Scotland, thus connecting himself with the Squadrone, or anti-Argyll party, who governed Scotland till they were ousted in 1725 by their opponents, headed by the Duke of Argyll’s brother, Lord Ilay, Walpole’s ‘first minister for Scotland’. When the Squadrone seventeen years later ousted Ilay on Walpole’s fall in 1742, Craigie, now one of the ‘busiest counsel’ in practice,1 was appointed lord advocate and brought into Parliament in succession to Charles Areskine. He owed his appointment to his friend, Lord Tweeddale, the new secretary of state for Scotland, through whom he became attached politically to Lord Carteret, later Granville. He lost his place when Ilay, now Duke of Argyll, replaced Tweeddale as minister for Scotland after Granville’s fall in December 1744. The King and the ministry were opposed to his dismissal but were forced to yield to Argyll, who insisted that Craigie as well as Tweeddale should go out.2 Declining the offer of a vacant judgeship on the court of session, he returned to the bar, where he succeeded Dundas and Areskine
as the chamber counsel to whom people were to have recourse in all nice and important questions ... a branch of business by which much money and much reputation are to be got with little fatigue.
In 1748 George II, discussing judicial appointments in Scotland,
took occasion to mention Mr. Craigie, who, he said, was a very good lawyer, an honest man, and a good Whig; that it would not be right to make him justice clerk, because he and the Duke of Argyll [the former Lord Ilay] could not act together; but that one day or other he would make a good president of the [court of] session.3
The prediction was fulfilled when the post of lord president of the court of session next fell vacant in 1753.
He died 10 Mar. 1760.