Gilmour, John (DNB00)
GILMOUR, Sir JOHN (d. 1671), Scottish judge, son of John Gilmour, writer to the signet, was bred to his father's profession, but on 12 Dec. 1628 he was admitted an advocate. His professional connection lay among the royalist party, and he was appointed by the committee of estates counsel for the Earl of Montrose in 1641. When the court of session was re-established at the Restoration, he was appointed lord president on 13 Feb. 1661, his appointment was approved by parliament on 5 April, and the sittings of the court were resumed on 1 June. He received a pension of 500l. per annum as lord president. He also was sworn of the privy council, and was made a lord of the exchequer. He was elected commissioner for the shire of Edinburgh in the parliament of 1661, which he continued to represent till his death, and at the same time he was appointed a lord of articles. He obtained the insertion of a clause in the Militia Act that the kingdom should not be obliged to maintain any force levied by the king otherwise than as it should be agreed by parliament or a convention of estates. He spoke in parliament in defence of the Marquis of Argyll, but without avail, and, joining the Lauderdale party, helped, especially by personal audiences with the king in London, to overthrow Middleton in 1663. In 1664 he became a member of the court of high commission, and exerted his influence without success to mitigate the severity of the bishops who were members of it. In the privy council he refused to vote for the execution of the insurgents taken at Pentland, to whom quarter had been promised; but he signed the opinion of the court of session to the effect that forfeiture could be pronounced against accused persons in their absence if they had been duly cited to appear. On 22 Dec. 1670 he resigned his judgeship in consequence of ill-health, and died next year. Reports of his decisions from 1661 to 1666 are preserved. He is described by Sir George Mackenzie in his ‘Idea Eloquentiæ Forensis’ as a man of rough eloquence and powerful common sense, but little learning. There is a portrait of him by Scougal at Inch, near Edinburgh.
[Books of Sederunt; Acts Scots Parl.; Wodrow's Analecta; Fountainhall's Decisions, i. 500; Fountainhall's Chronological Notes, p. 224; Omond's Lord Advocates; Anderson's Scottish Nation; Douglas's Peerage, ed. Wood, i. 99; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the Royal Coll. of Justice.]