Front Page Titles (by Subject) 72.: From DAVID HUME - Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith
Return to Title Page for Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
72.: From DAVID HUME - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 6 Correspondence of Adam Smith 
Correspondence of Adam Smith, ed. E. C. Mossner and I. S. Ross, vol. VI of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith and the associated volumes are published in hardcover by Oxford University Press. The six titles of the Glasgow Edition, but not the associated volumes, are being published in softcover by Liberty Fund. The online edition is published by Liberty Fund under license from Oxford University Press.
©Oxford University Press 1976. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be stored transmitted retransmitted lent or reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of Oxford University Press.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
From DAVID HUME
MS., RSE ii. 33; HL i. 390–1.
Edinburgh, 21 July 1763
To–day is the grand Question decided by our Judges, whether they will admit of any farther Proof with regard to the Douglas Affair, or whether they will rest contented with the Proofs already produc’d.1 Their Partiality is palpable and astonishing; yet few people think, that they will dare to refuse enquiring into Facts so remarkable and so strongly attested. They are at present sitting, but I hope to tell you the Issue in a Postscript.2 Our friend, Johnstone,3 has wrote the most–super–excellentest Paper in the World, which he has promis’d to send to you this Evening in Franks. Please to deliver the enclosed to Colonel Barré.4 I am Dear Smith
Yours most sincerely
[1 ]The Douglas Cause, which ‘shook the sacred security of birth–right in Scotland to its foundation’ according to Boswell (BLJ v. 28), concerned the opposition of two claimants to the estates of Archibald, 1st and last Duke of Douglas (d. 1761). The claimants were (1) Archibald James Edward Steuart (1748–1827), acknowledged as son by the Duke’s sister, Lady Jane Douglas (d. 1753), who claimed he was the surviving child of twin boys born to her in Paris when she was fifty–one; and (2) James George, 7th Duke of Hamilton (1755–69). The first claimant was served heir to the Douglas estates but actions were brought by the Hamilton trustees alleging that he was not Lady Jane Douglas’s son by Col. John Steuart, but the child of a poor French worker secured to inherit the Duke of Douglas’s property. In 1763 the Court of Session decided to hear further evidence, and inquiries were later set afoot in France to obtain evidence. In October 1765, Smith was sworn as a Commissioner at Toulouse for this purpose (Scott 259–60). The Court of Session heard the cause from 7 to 14 July 1767, and after seven judges had voted for each side, the Lord President (Robert Dundas of Arniston) gave his casting vote in favour of the Hamiltons. The House of Lords, however, reversed this decision on appeal in 1769 (see Letter 116 addressed to Lord Hailes, dated 5 Mar. 1769). Hume like most of the Scottish literati supported the Hamiltons, possibly through friendship with William Mure of Caldwell and Andrew Stuart of Torrance, WS, who were Hamilton trustees.
[2 ]The issue decided was that of hearing further evidence.
[3 ]William Johnstone (later Pulteney). His ‘Paper’ has not been traced. He was an advocate for the Hamilton side and had been to France with Andrew Stuart in this connection.
[4 ]Isaac Barré (1726–1802), soldier and politician, M.P. for Chipping Wycombe, noted for his fiery speeches. He was a political adherent of Lord Shelburne, whose fall from office in 1763 he shared.