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James Dalrymple Stair, 1st Viscount

Stair, James Dalrymple, 1st Viscount (dălrĭmˈpəl, dălˈrĭmpəl) [key], 1619–95, Scottish jurist. A student and then a regent of the Univ. of Glasgow, he was admitted to the bar in 1648. He supported the exiled Charles II and refused to swear allegiance to the Commonwealth, but he was nevertheless appointed (1657) a judge. After the Restoration he was prominent until his sympathy with the Covenanters at the time of the Scottish Test Act caused him to lose (1681) his appointment as judge. He then finished his Institutions of the Law of Scotland (1681), a great treatise on Scottish law. His exile in the Netherlands ended when he came (1688) to Great Britain with King William III, who made him lord advocate and raised him to the peerage.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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