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Law, Lawyers, and HumanismSelected Essays on the History of Scots Law, Volume 1$
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John W Cairns

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682096

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682096.001.0001

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The Law, the Advocates, and the Universities in Late Sixteenth-Century Scotland

The Law, the Advocates, and the Universities in Late Sixteenth-Century Scotland

Chapter:
(p.67) 4 The Law, the Advocates, and the Universities in Late Sixteenth-Century Scotland*
Source:
Law, Lawyers, and Humanism
Author(s):

John W Cairns

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682096.003.0004

About seventy years ago, W. C. Dickinson drew attention to a document that, he argued, explained the failure of the project initiated on January 16, 1589 by the Lords of Council and Session to found a chair in Law in the University of Edinburgh. This unsuccessful attempt had been noticed in the standard histories of the university, but no satisfactory explanation of the failure had been offered. Based on the document, Dickinson argued that the the project failed because of the opposition of the Advocates, on whom the Lords of Session had relied for help with the necessary endowment. This chapter suggests there was more substance to the Advocates’ arguments against the proposal. Examination of the evidence shows that the Advocates had good reason for their views, and also throws valuable light both on the development of education in law in the Scottish universities and on the early educational aspirations for advocates.

Keywords:   Scots law, Lords of Council and Session, W. C. Dickson, University of Edinburgh, Advocates, law education

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