Thomas Craig (jurist)
Craig was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh, and at the University of St Andrews, where he took the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1555. From St. Andrews he went to France, to study canon law and civil law. In Paris from 1555 to 1561, he studied civil law under François Baudouin. His work on feudal law shows the influence of François Hotman, which must be later.
Craig returned to the Kingdom of Scotland about 1561, and was admitted advocate in February 1563. In 1564, he was appointed justice-depute by the justice-general, Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll; and in this capacity he presided at many of the criminal trials of the period in Edinburgh, and in 1606 was made procurator for the church. He never became a lord of session, a circumstance that was unquestionably due to his own choice.
He is said to have refused the honour of knighthood which James I of England conferred on him in 1604. He had come to London as one of the Scottish commissioners regarding the personal union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, the only political object he seems to have cared about. But in accordance with James's command he has always been styled and reputed a knight.
Except his poems, the only one of Craig's works which appeared during his lifetime was his Jus feudale (1603; editions by R. Burnet (1655); Lüder Mencke, Leipzig, 1716; and James Baillie (1732). The object of this treatise was to assimilate the laws of England and Scotland, but, instead of this, it was an important factor in building up and solidifying the law of Scotland into a separate system.
Other works were
- De unione regnorum Britanniae tractatus, English translation (1910) by Charles Sanford Terry;
- De jure successionis regni Angliae, written to answer Robert Parsons, and translated as Concerning the Right of Succession to the Kingdom of England by James Gadderar;
- De hominio disputatio. This was translated by George Ridpath as Scotland's Sovereignty asserted; being a dispute concerning Homage (1695).
- His eldest son, Lewis Craig (1569–1622) was raised to the bench in 1604.
- His second son James was killed in Ireland in 1641 while defending the castle at Croghan against rebels.
- His third son John Craig was a royal physician who died in 1655; another royal physician John Craig was his uncle and brother of Thomas Craig.
- His eldest daughter Margaret married Alexander Gibson, Lord Durie I, and was mother of Alexander Gibson, Lord Durie II.
- The second daughter Elizabeth became the wife of James Johnston, and was mother of Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston, and Rachel Johnston, who married Robert Burnet, Lord Crimond.
- His third daughter Janet m. John Belches of Tofts, of the Belches of Invermay.
- Sanderson, Margaret H.B., A Kindly Place?, Tuckwell (2008), 108: see also Henry, John, 'John Craig (d.1620)', ODNB
- J. G. A. Pocock (24 April 1987). The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law: A Study of English Historical Thought in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-521-31643-9. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- James; Charles Howard McIlwain (1 March 2002). The Political Works of James I . The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. pp. xxxvi note 1. ISBN 978-1-58477-222-4. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Gadderar, James". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- "Ridpath, George (d.1726)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Henry, John. "Craig, John (d. 1620?)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6575. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "Gibson, Alexander (d.1644)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- "Craig, Thomas)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Patrick Fraser Tytler, Life of Craig (1823)
- Life prefixed to Baillie's edition of the Jus feudale
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Tytler, Patrick Fraser (1823), An Account of the Life and Writings of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton, Edinburgh: W. & C. Tait, retrieved 17 August 2008