Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Foulis, James (1645?-1711)

FOULIS, JAMES, Lord Reidfurd (1645?–1711), Scotch judge, eldest son of Sir James Foulis, lord Colinton [q. v.], whom he succeeded as third baronet in 1688, was born about 1645. His father ' bestowed liberally ' upon his education. He studied at Leyden (Peacock, Index to Leyden Students, p. 37), and was admitted advocate 8 June 1669. He was appointed lord of session November 1674, when he took the courtesy title of Lord Reidfurd. His father then sat on the bench as Lord Colinton. Foulis was elected commissioner for Edinburghshire on 20 Jan. 1685, was a supporter of the extreme measures of the government, but continued to sit after the revolution, ' until his seat was declared vacant, 25 April 1693, because he had not taken the oath of allegiance and signed the assurance' (Foster, Parliamentary Returns). After the death of William III he was made colonel of the Midlothian militia, and sworn of the privy council (1703). He opposed the union. Foulis married Margaret, daughter of John Boyd, dean of guild, Edinburgh, by whom he had several children. On his death, in 1711, he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son James, with whom he is sometimes confounded—e.g. by Anderson. Foulis was engaged in a somewhat complicated lawsuit with Dame Margaret Erskine, Lady Castlehaven, his stepmother, as to her interest in his father's estates. The chief papers were published, with notes by him, or compiled under his direction, and exhibit some details as to Scotch aristocratic life and customs of the period ('An Exact and Faithful relation of the Process pursued by Dame Margaret Areskine, Lady Castlehaven, against Sir James Foulis, now of Collingtoun,' Edinburgh, 1690). Among the Lauderdale MSS. are various official reports and addresses to Charles II and the Duke of Lauderdale, to which the signature of Foulis is appended.

[Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice, p. 404; Anderson's Scottish Nation, ii. 256; Foster's Collectanea Genealogica—Members of Parliament, Scotland, p. 143 ; Add. MSS. 23137 f. 97, 23138 ff. 5, 7, 43, 23244 ff. 37, 39.]

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