Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

3 articles on this Page




DEATH OF SIR ARCHIBALD ALISON. We learn with regret, though without surprise, that Sir Archibald Alison died on Thursday night at Glas- gow. His condition for some days previously precluded 3,11 hope of recovery. The deceased baronet was born at the parsonage house of Kenley, in Shropshire, in 1792, his father being a clergyman and author of Essays on Taste." The deceased studied at the University of Edinburgh under Professors Dugald Stewart, Playfair, and Leslie, and other celebrated men of the day and he carried off the highest prizes in the mathematics and Greek. He be- came a member of the Scotch bar in 1814, and in the succeeding eight years travelled much on the Continent. In 1834 he was appointed Sheriff of the county of Lanark, one of the highest judicial offices in Scotland. Shortly before this he published two works, which "became standard ones in Scotch law, one being The Principles of the Criminal Law," and the other The Practice of the Criminal Law." At that period he was already engaged in preparing his History of Modern Europe from the commencement of the French Revolution to the Battle of Waterloo —a work which is exceedingly voluminous and full of details that could not have been collected without remarkable industry, but which is marred by an excess of comment and re- flection often causing weariness to the reader, so that the abridgment is now generally preferred to the for- midable whole. In 1845 the deceased was elected Lord Rector of Marischal College, Aberdeen in 1851 he was chosen to fill the same position in the University of Glasgow. In 1852 the Earl of Derby, being at the head of the Government, conferred upon him a baronetcy, and in the following year the University of Oxford awarded to the deceased baronet, now in the zenith of his fame as an historian, the degree of -D. U. I,. The great effort of the deceased's life, his history of Eurepe from the first French Revolution, has been con- tinued up to a later period, the design of the author being to extend it up to the accession of Napoleon III. to the throne. A portion of this supplementary history was long since presented to the public. The literary labours of the deceased included The Life of the Duke of Marlborough," and the Principles of Population and he also found time to devote himself to a biography of Lord Castlereagh, and published extensively on the vexed currency question, in which he deemed himself an authority. f In politics the deceased was throughout life a lory 01 the old school, being apparently quite unaffected by the fact that he was almost always the representative of a losing cause. His predilections and prejudices are con- stantly exhibited in his History of E Illrope. As an author he was wanting in force and impression, and in that artistic use of materials which is necessary to com- mand the attention of the mass of readers. In industry, however, and the painstaking investigation of facts, he has had few equals. He is succeeded in the title by his son Colonel Alison, commander of the 72nd Highlanders, who served with distinction under Lord Clyde during the Indian mutiny.