Dalrymple, the name of a Scottish family which rose into importance about the beginning of the 15th century. The following are its most eminent members. I. James, Viscount Stair, born in Drummurchie, Ayrshire, in May, 1619, died Nov. 25, 1695. He received his education at the university of Glasgow, and in his 22d year, while holding a captain's commission in the army, was appointed professor of philosophy. He was admitted in 1648 an advocate at the Scottish bar; was secretary of the commissions sent in 1649 and 1650 to treat with Charles II., then an exile in Holland; and in 1657 was appointed by Cromwell one of the "commissioners for the administration of justice." After the restoration he was appointed by Charles II. one of the new lords of session, but resigned office in 1663, from an unwillingness to take the declaration against the national covenant of 1638 and the solemn league and covenant of 1643, appended to the oath of allegiance. The king refused to receive his resignation, and made him a baronet. In 1671 he became lord president of the court, but in 1681 he refused to take the new test oath, and was obliged to resign.
In the same year he published his " Institutions of the Law of Scotland," a work holding the same rank in Scotland that Blackstone's " Commentaries " does in England. In 1682 persecution from government compelled him to take refuge in Holland, where he prepared for publication his decisions, and published in 1686, at Leyden, a Latin treatise entitled Physiologia, Nova Ex-perimentalis. He accompanied the prince of Orange to England, was reappointed to the presidency of the court of session, and was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Stair. II. John, earl of Stair, son of the preceding, an advocate at the Scottish bar, and secretary of state for Scotland, died in 1707. He was created an earl in 1703. His complicity in the Glencoe massacre has given an unenviable notoriety to his name. After a full inquiry the Scottish parliament pronounced him the original author of the massacre, but failed to impute to him such criminality as would affect his life or his estate. III. John, earl of Stair, son of the preceding, born in Edinburgh, July 20, 1673, died there, May 9,1747. He entered the army at the age of 19, and served with great distinction under Marlborough. On the accession of George I. he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland, and for several years was ambassador in France. Subsequently he lived many years on his estates, and was the first in Scotland to plant turnips and cabbages in open fields.
In 1742 he was sent as ambassador to Holland, and was afterward made commander-in-chief of the forces in Great Britain. IV. Sir David, better known as Lord Hailes, an eminent lawyer and antiquary, great-grandson of the first Viscount Stair, born in Edinburgh, Oct. 28, 1726, died Nov. 29, 1792. He was educated at Eton, studied the civil law at Utrecht, and in 1748 was admitted an advocate at the Scottish bar. In 1766 he was made a judge of the court of session, under the title of Lord Hailes. Ten years later he was appointed a lord of judiciary, which position he held until his death. His publications, 48 in number, exclusive of articles in reviews and magazines, commence with the year 1751 and extend to 1790. The first was a volume of paraphrases and translations from the Scriptures, by various authors; which was followed by the publication, with ample notes and illustrations, of a variety of memorials and original letters, throwing light upon the history of England and Scotland. In 1769 he produced a historical memoir of the provincial councils of the Scottish clergy, and "Canons of the Church of Scotland, drawn up in the Provincial Councils held in Perth, in the years 1242 and 1269;" and in the succeeding year a collection of old Scottish poems from manuscript, with many curious illustrations.
In 1773 appeared his "Remarks on the History of Scotland," and in 1776-'9 his "Annals of Scotland" from the time of Malcolm Canmore to the accession of the Stuarts, his most popular and useful work. In 1776 he published an account of the Christian martyrs of Smyrna and Lyons in the 2d century; which was succeeded, in continuation of the subject, by the two volumes of "Remains of Christian Antiquity." In his "Disquisitions concerning the Antiquity of the Christian Church," he combated many of the hypotheses of Gibbon regarding the origin and progress of Christianity. " An Inquiry into the Secondary Causes which Mr. Gibbon has assigned for the rapid Growth of Christianity," published in 1786, was a more elaborate development of his ideas upon the same subject. V. Alexander, brother of the preceding, born at New Hailes, Scotland, July 24, 1737, died in London, June 19, 1808. He entered the East India company's service at the age of 16, and for many years was hydrographer to the company. His published works number about 60, and include a wide variety of subjects, though the greater part are devoted to Indian affairs.
He also prepared charts of the eastern seas.