Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Aiton, William (1760-1848)

AITON, WILLIAM (1760–1848), sheriff-substitute of the county of Lanark, and, in his day, a widely known authority on all matters bearing on Scottish husbandry, was born at Silverwood, Kilmarnock, in 1760, a neighbourhood which he left in 1785 to go to Strathaven, Lanarkshire, where he practised for many years as a law agent. He next went to Hamilton, where he held office as one of the sheriff-substitutes of the county from 1816 up to 1822. He died in 1848. At no period did his income exceed a hundred a year, and yet out of this, with a family of twelve children, he educated four sons for liberal professions, often sending them his last guinea when they were students at college. His works are:

  1. ‘A Treatise on Moss-earth,’ Ayr, 1811.
  2. ‘General View of the Agriculture of the County of Ayr,’ Glasgow, 1811.
  3. ‘General View of the Agriculture of the County of Bute,’ Glasgow, 1816.
  4. ‘A History of the Rencounter at Drumclog and Battle at Bothwell Bridge,’ Hamilton, 1821.
  5. ‘An Inquiry into the Pedigree of the Hamilton Family,’ Glasgow, 1827.
  6. ‘Inquiry into the House of Aiton in Scotland,’ Hamilton, 1830.

[Inquiry into the Origin and Pedigree of the Family of Aitons in Scotland; Catalogue of Library of Faculty of Advocates.]

T. J.