Patrick Haldane ~ Politician and Lawyer

Patrick Haldane – politician and lawyer – born to John Haldane of Gleneagles (as a Whig represented Perthshire and Dunbartonshire in parliament; member of the first parliament of the UK) and Mary Drummond (daughter third Lord of Madderty and Lady Beatrix Graham) around 1683/4. He attended St Andrews University and attained the MA in July of 1701. After that, Haldane studied law (for four years) at Edinburgh University under John Spottiswood. By 1705, he was professor of Greek at St Andrews, the appointment however was marred by prejudice and unpopularity and he required legal action to obtain the post. In 1707, he became professor of ecclesiastical history. Four years later, Haldane resumed his legal studies at the University of Leiden. Returning home, he was admitted as an advocate in January of 1715. Thereafter his political career took off: MP (Whig) for Perth district of burghs – 16 February 1715 until 1721. Haldane was appointed provost of St Andrews in 1716, a post he held until 1720. May 1716 saw him join (at an enormous salary) the commission responsible for the sale of seized Jacobite estates – a consequence of the failed 1715 rising. This role that he undertook with vigour and severity earned him great hatred within a large section of Scottish society and even amongst members of the government. Within the House of Commons, Haldane’s unpopularity grew despite his support of the government. After the end of this task, Haldane’s disdain left him with few clients as a lawyer. When the king attempted to make him a judge in the Court of Session, his enemies mobilised to oppose the nomination. After the issue came to the Lords (twice) and after much activity within the Faculty of Advocates, Haldane’s nomination was taken back by the king (George I). Despite this, Haldane was eventually made a commissioner of excise in England (1724-1727). Returning once more to the bar, Haldane enjoyed a period of successful advocacy and by March of 1746, he was Solicitor-General of Scotland. A final attempt at becoming a judge ended in failure and Haldane entered retirement in 1755, a broken man. Haldane married early (Margaret – father 4th Lord Forrester) – 2 children – a boy and a girl. He outlived his wife (died c1747) and two children (George and Margaret both deceased c1759). In old age, Haldane suffered financial problems and was forced to sell the family estate at Gleneagles to pay debts. Patrick Haldane died 10 January 1769 at Duddingston, Edinburgh and is buried in Duddingston cemetery.