Bayne, Alexander (DNB00)

BAYNE, ALEXANDER, of Rires (d. 1737), first tenant of the chair of Scots law in the university of Edinburgh, the son of John Bayne of Logie, Fife, to whom he was served heir in general on 8 Oct. 1700, and descended from the old Fifeshire family of Tulloch, was admitted advocate on 10 July 1714, but seems to have had little or no practice. In January 1722 he was appointed curator of the Advocates' Library, and on the establishment of the chair of Scots law in the university of Edinburgh in the same year the town council elected him (28 Nov.) to fill it. He had already for some time been engaged in lecturing on that subject in an unofficial capacity. Early in 1726 he retired from the office of curator of the Advocates' Library, the usual term of holding that position having then expired. In the same year he published an edition of Sir Thomas Hope's ‘Minor Practicks,’ a work which is said to have been dictated by its author to his son while dressing, and which had lain in manuscript for nearly half a century, but which, in the opinion of the most competent judges, is a masterpiece of legal erudition, acuteness, and subtlety. To this Bayne appended a ‘Discourse on the Rise and Progress of the Law of Scotland and the Method of Studying it.’ In 1730 he published ‘Institutions of the Criminal Law of Scotland’ (Edinburgh, 12mo), a small work designed for the use of students attending his professional lectures, of which it was little more than a synopsis, and in 1731 ‘Notes for the Use of Students of the Municipal Law in the University of Edinburgh, being a Supplement to the Institutes of Sir George Mackenzie,’ Edinburgh, 12mo. In June 1737 he died. Bayne married Mary, daughter of Anne, the only surviving child of Sir William Bruce of Kinross, by her second husband, Sir John Carstairs of Kilconquhar, by whom he had three sons and two daughters. One of his daughters became the first wife of Allan Ramsay the painter and son of the poet.

[Bower's Hist. Univ. Edinburgh, ii. 197; Grant's Story of the Univ. Edinburgh, ii. 371; Cat. Lib. Fac. Adv.; Inquis. Retorn. Abbrev. Inquis. Gen. 8249; Penny Cyclopædia; Anderson's Scottish Nation.]

J. M. R.