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David Douglas, Lord Reston






Lord RestonDavid Douglas, Lord Reston was a Scottish judge and the heir of Adam Smith.

He was born on 24 July 1769, in Strathendry, the fifth and youngest son of Col. Robert Douglas of Strathendry (1716–1803) and Cicilia Craigie, daughter of Robert Craigie(1), Lord President of the Court of Session.

He attended Edinburgh High School (with Sir Walter Scott), 1777–1782, and Glasgow University, where he studied under Millar. It is set down in the History of the Speculative Society that he read a paper there on 30 November 1790 on "The Effects of Taxation on the Necessaries of Life." Advocate 1791, Sheriff-Depute of Berwickshire 1809. Lord of Session 1813. Lord of Justiciary, as Lord Reston, (from an estate of Reston in Haddington) in 1816. Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 27 Jan 1817. Senator of the Royal College of Justice. He died at Glendoick on 23 April 1819.

He spent his later childhood with Adam Smith, who was a first cousin of his father, and received Smith's property, including his library, on his death, when he was interred in the Tomb of Adam Smith, Canongate, Edinburgh


On Lord Reston's death(1) the library was divided between his two daughters, Mrs. Cunningham of Prestonpans, and Mrs. Bannerman of Edinburgh. On the death of Mrs. Bannerman (1879) her portion of the library went to her son, Rev. David Douglas Bannerman, D.D., now at Perth, who in 1884 presented a part to the New College (of the Free Church), Edinburgh.

He married Elizabeth Craigie, his first cousin, in 1805 and had four children:
1. Elizabeth Craigie Douglas (1808–22)
2. Cecilia Margaret Douglas (1813–98), who married the Rev. William Bruce Cunningham; amongst their children were Robert Oliver Cunningham and David Douglas Cunningham
3. Adam Smith Douglas (1816–38)
4. David Anne Douglas (1819–79), who married the Rev. James Patrick Bannerman



1.  Some claim that he died of an an aneurism at the Glendoick estate near Perth whilst visiting his father-in-law, Major John Craigie, but the cause of death is challenged by family members. But note also that apparently his wife was the daughter of Robert Craigie.





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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024