Papers of Professor Alexander Bayne (d. 1737)

Scope and Content

The papers in the collection include: an inaugural oration, in Latin, given by Bayne, 1724, at Dc.3.57; notes on the Institutions of the law of Scotland at Gen. 794D; a copy of 'dictates, being a commentary on' Institutions of the law of Scotland and a treatise on crimes, at Dc.6.17 and Gen. 67D; and, dictats and remarks on Scots Law at MS 2668.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Bayne of Rires, Fife, was admitted as an Advocate on 10 July 1714. In January 1722 he was appointed Curator of the Advocates' Library, and in November 1722 he was elected as the first occupant of the Chair of Scots Law at Edinburgh University although he had been engaged in lecturing privately on the law of Scotland before he was made Professor. His publications include an edition of Sir Thomas Hope's Minor practicks (1726) to which was appended the Discourse on the rise and progress of the law of Scotland and the method of studying it, and Institutions of the criminal law of Scotland (1730). Professor Alexander Bayne died in June 1737. One of his daughters became the first wife of Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) the painter.

Access Information

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Acquisition Information

Notes on the Institutions of the law of Scotland purchased September 1965, Accession no. E65.24. Dictates purchased Sotheby's February 1961, Accession No. E61.3. Dictats and remarks purchased April 1984, Accession No. E84.11.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 1. Abbadie-Beadon. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908. (2) Grant, Sir Alexander. The story of the University of Edinburgh during its first three hundred years. Vol.2. pp.371-372. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1884.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The local Indexes show that Bayne's dictates or commentary on Institutions of the law of Scotland and a treatise on crimes can be found in the Laing Collection at La.III.391/1-2 (check the Indexes for more details). In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: lectures, at the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. Adv MSS 22 7 34, 25 3 12, 25 6 18.


Corporate Names