Open main menu

Dallas, George (1630-1702?) (DNB00)

DALLAS, GEORGE (1630–1702?), lawyer, of St. Martin's, Ross-shire, a younger son of William Dallas of Budgate, Nairnshire, by his first wife, was born in 1635. He entered upon his apprenticeship to the law in 1652, studying with Mr. John Bayn of Pitcairlie, Fifeshire, ‘a great penman in his age, and so known,’ and in due course became a writer to the signet. Upon the return of Charles II in 1660, the privy seal of Scotland was conferred upon John, marquis of Atholl, who appointed Dallas deputy-keeper. He is said to have retained the seal during the reign of James VII, and though he refused to take the oaths to William and Mary, it remained in his hands, and is now an heirloom in the family. He died about 1702. He is known as the author of ‘A System of Stiles, as now practicable in the Kingdom of Scotland,’ which was written between 1666 and 1688, though not published until 1697. This work, which forms a compact folio volume of iv. 904 xii pages, continued for many years to be indispensable in the office of every Scottish lawyer, and is twice referred to in the novels of Sir Walter Scott. He was buried in Greyfriars church 13 April 1701. A portrait is in the Signet Library, Edinburgh. Dallas married Margaret Abercromby, and was great-grandfather of Lieutenant-general Sir Thomas Dallas, G.C.B., who distinguished himself as a cavalry officer in the Carnatic, as well as in Colonel Wellesley's brilliant campaign, and at the siege of Seringapatam. He died at Bath 12 Aug. 1839. George Dallas was also ancestor of R. C. Dallas [q. v.], of A. R. C. Dallas [q. v.], and of George Mifflin Dallas, vice-president of the United States, and for many years American minister at the court of St. James. He died 31 Dec. 1864.

[Pedigree of the family of Dallas of that Ilk and Cantray, and Dallas of St. Martin's Stiles.]

J. D-s.