George Fergusson, Lord Hermand

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George Fergusson, Lord Hermand by John Kay

George Fergusson, Lord Hermand FRSE (1743–1827) was a Scottish advocate and judge.[1]


He was born on 25 August 1743,[2] the eighth son of Sir James Fergusson, 2nd Baronet of Kilkerran in Ayrshire, by his wife Jean Maitland, only child of James, viscount Maitland, and grand-daughter of John, fifth earl of Lauderdale. His elder brother was Sir Adam Fergusson, 3rd Baronet. George attended James Mundell's School in Edinburgh then the High School 1755-56. He then studied Law at Edinburgh University.

He was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates on 17 December 1765. He practiced at the bar for thirty-four years with considerable success.

In 1783, with his brother Adam and many other notable Edinburgh figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, he was a founder member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

On the death of Robert McQueen, Lord Braxfield, Fergusson was made an ordinary lord of session, and took his seat on the bench as "Lord Hermand" on 11 July 1799. He was also appointed a lord justiciary on 4 August 1808, in the place of Sir William Nairne of Dunsinnam.[3] He resigned both these offices in 1826.

Fergusson was both eccentric and a heavy drinker. An etching of Hermand by John Kay is in the first volume of ‘Original Portraits’ (No. 156). His portrait also appears along with those of the other judges in the ‘Last Sitting of the Old Court of Session, 11 July 1808’ (vol. ii. No. 300).[4]

He died at the family estate of Hermand House in West Calder west of Edinburgh, on 9 August 1827.


Fergusson married Graham (sic), daughter of William McDowall of Garthland, who survived him by several years. There had no children.


  1. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). I. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  2. ^ BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF FORMER FELLOWS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X. 
  3. ^ Kay, John George Fergusson, Lord Hermand Kay's Originals I CLVI(392) Edinburgh Bookshelf. Retrieved 18 February 2012
  4. ^ Original old antique victorian print c1790-c1900 LAST SITTING OLD COURT SESSION JULY 1808 Amazon. ASIN B003V4R92Y. Retrieved 18 February 2012