Robert Burnet, Lord Crimond

Robert Burnet, Lord Crimond (1592 [ Burnett, George, Lord Lyon King of Arms; Allardyce, Col. James, editor, "The Family of Burnett of Leys", Aberdeen, 1901: 130] - August 24, 1661 [ Dalrymple of Hailes, Bt., Sir David, "An Historical Account of the Senators of the College of Justice of Scotland", revised edition, Edinburgh, 1849: 373] ) was a Scottish advocate and judge, the fourth son of Alexander Burnet of Leys by Katherine, daughter of Alexander Gordon of Lesmoir, and younger brother of Sir Thomas Burnett, 1st Baronet. [ Burnett, George, 1901: 39-40] [ Official Burnett Website]


Crimond studied for seven years in France, and was admitted a Scottish Advocate on February 20, 1617. [ Burnett, George, 1901: 131] That his career at the Bar was successful is evinced by the fact that in 1628 he acquired Banachtie and Mill of Bourtie from William Seton of Meldrum, and, in 1634, Crimond, in Aberdeenshire, which afterwards became his residence.

He refused to subscribe to the Solemn League and Covenant, as as a consequence spent several years in exile in Paris from 1637. In that year he wrote to his brother-in-law, Archibald Johnston of Warristoun, protesting against the injustice of the sentence passed upon Sydserf, Bishop of Galloway. [ Burnett, George, 1901: 131-2] Upon his return he was urged by Oliver Cromwell to act as a judge, but declined, and lived in retirement upon his estate at Crimond until the restoration of King Charles II. [ Dalrymple of Hailes: 373]

He was nominated a Senator of the College of Justice on January 19, 1661 and took his seat in the Court of Session as Lord Crimond on June 1st, an office he enjoyed scarcely three months before dying at Edinburgh on August 24th. [ Dalrymple of Hailes: 373-4]

Upon his decease, Alexander Brodie of Brodie paid the following diary tribute to his memory: "August 27, 1661. I heard that the good Mr Robert Burnet, Crimond, was removed by death; 'The righteous are taken away and perishing,none considering or laying it to hart, that they are taken away from the euel to come.'" [The diary of Alexander Brodie of Brodie, MDCLII-MDCLXXX. and of his son, James Brodie of Brodie, MDCLXXX-MDCLXXXV. consisting of extracts from the existing manuscripts, and a republication of the volume printed at Edinburgh in the year 1740 (1863) [] ] [ Burnett, George, 1901: 132-3]

His grandson Thomas Burnet gave the following description of his character: "His excessive modesty so far depressed his abilities, that he never made a showy figure at the bar, though he was universally esteemed a man of judgement and knowledge in his profession; he was eminent for probity and generosity in his practice; in so much that nearly one half of it went in acts of charity and friendship; from the poor he never took a fee, nor from a clergyman when he sued in the right of his church." [ Dalrymple of Hailes: 374]


Lord Crimond married twice [ Burnett, George, 1901: 133] : (1) in 1620, Beatrix (d. 1622), youngest daughter and co-heir of William Maule of Glaster, son of Sir Robert Maule of Panmure [ [ History of Golf at Carnoustie - First Commoner Golfer ] ] , by whom he had a daughter, Bethia (1622 - 1624). He remarried (2) Rachel, daughter of James Johnston, a merchant in Edinburgh, by his spouse Elizabeth, daughter of the distinguished jurist Sir Thomas Craig, and sister of Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Warristoun. [ Burnett, George, 1901: 133] Lord Crimond's issue by his second wife, with three daughters included:

* Robert, (1630 - 1662) Admitted to the Scottish bar 1656, died unmarried. [ Burnett, George, 1901: 133]
* Sir Thomas, b.1638. Physician successively to Kings Charles II, James II, William III] , and Queen Anne. [ Burnett, George, 1901: 133]
* Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury. [ Burnett, George, 1901: 133]


*cite web | url=| title= thePeerage| accessdate= 2006-12-16

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