Ross, George (DNB00)

ROSS, GEORGE (1814–1863), legal writer, born 17 July 1814, was grandson of Sir John Lockhart Ross [q. v.], and third and youngest son of George Ross (1775–1861), judge of the consistory court of Scotland, and author of ‘The Law of Vendors and Purchasers of Personal Property,’ 1816 (2nd ed. by S. B. Harrison in 1826; cf. reprint in Philadelphia Law Library, vol. xii. in 1836). His mother, Grace, was daughter of Andrew Hunter, D.D., of Barjarg, Dumfriesshire. His eldest brother, John Lockhart Ross (1811–1891) (a graduate of Oriel College, Oxford, B.A. in 1833, and M.A. in 1836), was well known as vicar of St. George's-in-the-East, London (1863–73), and of St. Dunstan's-in-the-East (1873–1891), and published many theological tracts and handbooks.

George was called to the Scottish bar in 1835, and practised as senior counsel, making conveyancing his speciality. He acquired a considerable practice, notwithstanding his bad health and small talents as a pleader. His knowledge of case law was extensive. His legal works secured for him a high reputation, and he was appointed in 1861 professor of Scots law at Edinburgh University. He was an able lecturer. He died of diphtheria at his house, 7 Forres Street, Edinburgh, on 21 Nov. 1863. He married, in 1843, Mary, daughter of John Tod, by whom he had five daughters.

Ross published: 1. ‘The Law of Entail in Scotland as altered by the Act of 1848’ (1848, 8vo). 2. ‘Leading Cases in the Law of Scotland’ (3 vols. 1849–51); reprinted in the ‘Philadelphia Law Library,’ vols. lxxxi.–iv. 3. ‘Leading Cases in the Commercial Law of England and Scotland, arranged in Systematic Order with Notes’ (2 vols. 8vo, 1853 and 1857); a third volume appeared in 1858 as ‘Analysis of the Titles to Land Acts’ (21 and 22 Vict. cap. 76). He also published in 1858–61 a revised edition, with additions, of W. Bell's ‘Dictionary and Digest of the Laws of Scotland.’

[Burke's Peerage, &c., 1894; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1890; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Scotsman, 28 Nov. 1863; Journal of Jurisprudence (Edin.), December 1863; Marvin's Legal Bibliography; Sweet's Catalogue of Modern Law Books; Soule's Lawyer's Reference Manual; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. Le G. N.