Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Penney, William

PENNEY, WILLIAM, Lord Kinloch (1801–1872), Scottish judge, son of William Penney, merchant, Glasgow, and Elizabeth, daughter of David Johnston, D.D., North Leith, was born at Glasgow in 1801, and educated at the university there. On completing his education he entered the office of Alexander Morrison, solicitor, and afterwards spent some time in an accountant's office. In 1824 he was called to the bar, and soon gained a large practice, principally in commercial cases. In politics he was a conservative. He was raised to the bench on the recommendation of Lord Derby, in May 1858, on the death of Lord Handyside, taking the courtesy title of Lord Kinloch. When a vacancy occurred in the inner house of the court of session, on Lord Curriehill's death, Penney succeeded to the post in 1868. ‘Though not without some faults of judicial demeanour, he was remarkable not only for the elegance of his judgments, but for their generally just practical sense and wisdom.’ He died at Hartrigge House, near Jedburgh, on 31 Oct. 1872. Penney was twice married: first, in 1828, to Janet, daughter of Charles Campbell of Lecknary, Argyllshire (d. 1839); and, secondly, in 1842, to Louisa, daughter of John Campbell of Kinloch, Perthshire. He left five sons and seven daughters.

Penney was the author of several religious works in prose and verse, which attained some measure of popularity. Their titles are: 1. ‘The Circle of Christian Doctrine, a Handbook of Faith, framed out of a Layman's Experience,’ Edinburgh, 1861; 2nd ed. 1861; 3rd ed. 1865. 2. ‘Time's Treasure, or Devout Thoughts for every Day of the Year, expressed in verse,’ Edinburgh, 1863; 2nd ed. 1863; 3rd ed. 1865. A selection entitled ‘Devout Moments’ appeared in 1866. 3. ‘Studies for Sunday Evening,’ Edinburgh, 1866. 4. ‘Faith's Jewels presented in Verse, with other Devout Verses,’ Edinburgh, 1869. 5. ‘Thoughts of Christ for every Day in the Year,’ London, 1871. 6. ‘Readings in Holy Writ,’ Edinburgh, 1871. 7. ‘Hymns to Christ,’ Edinburgh, 1872.

[Journal of Jurisprudence, xvi. 650, 664; Law Magazine and Review for 1872, new ser. i. 1075.]

A. H. M.