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Sir Thomas. Miller of GLENLEE, BAR? Late Lord President of the Court of Session.

Edinburgh 1st December 1793. Published by Laurie & Symington .







late Lord Prefident of the Court of Seffion, was the fecond fon of William Miller, writer to the fignet, who was himself the fecond fon of Matthew Miller of Glenlee, and fucceeded to that eftate, along with the lands of Barfkimming, on the death of his elder brother.

for following every object that had once determined his choice.

Sir Thomas was born on the 3d of November 1717. He received

In the month of July 1742, he was called to the Bar, where he had not long continued, before the most favourable opinion came to be entertained, among the perfons best entitled to judge, of the proficiency he had made in the knowledge of the law, and of his excellent qualifications, both for council and debate. His elocution was copious and eafy; his felection of argument judicious, and his mode of prefenting it, in the highest degree perfpicuous and plain; and he accompanied it with a man

the first rudiments of his education at Glafgow, and afterwards went. through the ufual courfe of academimical studies in the Univerfity of that place; where he acquired a relish of the pursuits of literature and fcience,

ly a fondness for the Greek and Roman claffics, which even in the bufieft periods of his life, he occafionally found opportunities to indulge.

that never forfook him, and especial-ner of delivery fo weighty and fervent, as carried home to the hearer the impreffion of his own belief in the doctrines he maintained.

In the year 1748, on the new arrangement of the office of Sheriff, his friend the Earl of Selkirk, rel commended him to government for the ftewartry of Kirkcudbright.

The duties of this office he performed


When he had refolved on going to the Bar, he fixed his refidence at Edinburgh, and devoted himself to the ftudy of the law, with that zeal and earnestnefs with which, during


formed with great punctuality, and to the entire fatisfaction of the diftrict entrusted to his charge till the year 1755, when he refigned, and was named Solicitor of Excife-an office in those days generally held by a lawyer.

In the year 1759, on the promotion of Mr Pringle (afterwards Lord Alemore) to the Bench, he reaped the fruit of the public favour, in being appointed his Majefty's Solicitor

General for Scotland.

In the year 1760, he fucceeded the late Prefident Dundas as his Majesty's Advocate for Scotland; and in the following year, he was chofen to ferve in Parliament for the burgh of Dumfries.

In the year 1766, on the death of Lord Minto, he was appointed Lord Juftice Clerk; which office both beftows the Prefidency of the higheft Criminal Tribunal, and a feat as an ordinary Judge in the fupreme Civil Court.

In the month of January 1788, on the death of the Prefident Dundas, he was, to the entire fatisfaction of his country and the Bar, called to prefide in the Civil Court. His Majefty, at the fame time, thought proper to requite his long fervices, by bestowing on him the title of a Baronet of Great Britain.

Having thus then gained the fummit of his honeft ambition, in rifing fucceffively, by his own talents and useful labours, to all the great offices of the law;-having obtained them all without blame or envy, and held them with credit and distinction;--happy in retaining, at an advanced age, the full poffeffion of health and of his faculties, and fortunate in his family and all his domeftic concerns;

he had little elfe to pray for, (fince Heaven had ordered that he should now be called from the fociety of perfons fo dear to him) but an easy diffolution of his mortal flate. And this Divine Providence thought fit to grant him.

He died upon the 27th of September 1789, after an illness of two days, at his feat of Barskimming in Ayıfhire, in the 72d year of his age,leaving no good man his enemy, and attended with that fincere and extenfive regret, which only thofe can hope for, who have occupied the like important ftations, and acquitted themfeves as well.

In thefe high ftations, he fully juftified the choice that had been made of him, and foon, by his ferupulous attendance on the Court, and affiduous labour in the difpatch of bufinefs, gained a high place in the efteem and confidence of the public, as a man deeply impreffed with the importance of his duties, and actuated by a warm and fteady zeal confcientioufly to difcharge them. And this task he accomplished, in the civil department, in fuch a manner, as both added credit to the Court of which he was a member, and was of the most effential fervice to the interefts of law and juflice. For, befides the learning and experience, acquired by long ftudy and extenfive praclife, he was pofeffed of many other more material qualifications, which added much to the power of thofe attainments, and peculiarly fitted him for the important charge of deciding on the rights of his fellowéitizens.

We have fpoken of him in his public capacity, and noticed his great temperance and folidity of judgement. Thefe qualities were in hin the more to be praifed, that they' did not proceed from any coldness or tardinefs of nature, but were united to a very warm and feeling heart which was manifeft in his whole life. and manners.


No man was perhaps a better citizen, or more genuine patriot, that the late Prefident; if we are to efteem him fuch, who not only takes an intereft in the internal welfare and profperity

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profperity of his country, but feels an honest pride and warm concern in its glory and confequence as a ftate, and In the fplendour of the people's fame.

That part of the British dominions which gave him birth; he was attached to with all the partiality which a good man naturally feels; nor was there any fubject on which he dwelt more frequently, or with more pleafure, than its growing ftate of improvement in his own time.

He was, in like manner, a very focial and hospitable man; to his family, and connections, and indeed to all about him, full of gentlenefs, and kindness, and cordiality: and this uniformly and without exertion; infomuch that no petfon whom he had reason to esteem or think well of, could ever fay of him, that he received him coldly, or treated him with refervé. Good breeding indeed, (meaning by the term that kind and open manner which fets a stranger or inferior at eafe) was in a manner natural to him; and he had it to all fanks and conditions of men; fo that in a humane vifit to the houfe of a fervant or dependant, he equally pleased, and was as furely directed to the very things that were fit and acceptable to be faid, as in his intercourfe with those of his own rank. Among whom too, and indeed in all fituations, he was diftinguished for a rare fimplicity of manners and opennefs of fpeech; which flowed from a purity of thought and intentions fo perfect, that it was not to be surpassed.

He retained through life the high" eft relish of the beauties of nature, and every year spent a confiderable part of the recefs of bufinefs, in the enjoyment and improvement of the romantic fcenes at his place of Barfkimming. It was not, however, to the object of beauty alone, that his attention at those seasons was directed, but also to the better management and fubftantial melioration of his eftate. And this purfuit engaged him in very numerous and extenfive. operations, all of which he himself both planned, and fuperintended the execution of, and fuccefsfully conducted; though in the hands of moft other men, having the fame avocations of bufinefs, without the fame activity, conftancy, and love of order, they were more likely to have proved abortive, or even ruinous.

Sir Thomas Miller was twice married. By his firft wife, Margaret Murdoch, daughter of John Murdoch, merchant in Glasgow, he left iffue, one daughter, and one fon, now Sir William Miller, who follows the fame profeffion in which his father rofe to fuch diftinguished honours. His fecond marriage (of which there is no iffue) was to Anne Lockhart, daughter of Mr Lockhart of Caftlehill, who has the miffortune to furvive him. His eldest brother John had deceafed fome years before him, and he fucceeded, on that event, to the family eftate of Glenlee, which, along with the eftate of Barskimming, has now devolved to his fon.




when it comes unlooked for, your kind letter must certainly have raised me into a tranfport much above common life, as it not only furprised me




Fa piece of good fortune brings a double pleasure along with it

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