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HAY, ALEXANDER, Lord Easter Kennet (d. 1594), Scottish judge, belonged to the family of Hay of Park, Wigtonshire, and in March 1564 was nominated by Maitland of Lethington clerk to the privy council, with a salary of 150l. Scots. In 1568 he accompanied Murray and Lethington to York. In 1577 he became director of the chancery, and in October 1579, upon the death of M'Gill of Rankeillour, he was appointed clerk register, and on 20 Oct. of that year was admitted an ordinary senator of the College of Justice, with the title of Lord Easter Kennet. In the same year he became a member of the commission anent the jurisdiction of the kirk, and in 1581 a member of the commission for the visitation and reformation of hospitals, and also acted as arbitrator in the feud between the families of Gordon and Forbes. In November 1581, after the raid of Ruthven, he was employed to carry to Lennox the king's commands that he should quit the kingdom, and during the absence of Secretary Maitland with King James in Norway he acted as interim secretary for the Scottish language in October 1589. In 1592 he received grants of numerous charters for his good service, and on 19 Sept. 1594 he died.

A younger son, Alexander Hay, Lord Newton (d. 1616), was clerk of session till 1608, when he became secretary. On 3 Feb. 1610 he was admitted an ordinary lord; acted as royal commissioner at the Glasgow Assembly in 1610; and became clerk-register 30 July 1612. He was the author of ‘Manuscript Notes of Transactions of King James VI, written for the use of King Charles’ (Cat. David Laing's MSS. Univ. Libr. Edinb. p. 17). There are letters of Lord Easter Kennet in the same collection, p. 57, and in Thorpe's ‘Cal. State Papers,’ Scottish series, between 1573 and 1584.

[Brunton and Haig's Senators of the Royal College of Justice; Anderson's Scottish Nation; Acts Scots Parl. iii. 138, 219, 231, 626; Books of Sederunt; Keith's App. 174; Melville Mem. p. 205; Spotiswood, p. 379; Moyse, pp. 71, 72; Monteith's Theatre of Morality, p. 54.]

J. A. H.