James Avon Clyde, Lord Clyde

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For other people named James Clyde, see James Clyde (disambiguation).

James Avon Clyde, Lord Clyde KC DL (1863 – 1944) was a Scottish politician and judge.

Clyde was called to the Scots Bar in 1889, and appointed a King's Counsel (KC) in August 1901.[1] He was later Dean of the Faculty of Advocates from 1915–1918.

He held office briefly as Solicitor General for Scotland in late 1905.

He was the unsuccessful Tory candidate for Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire in 1906. He sat as Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament (MP) for Edinburgh West from 1909 to 1918 and Coalition Unionist member for Edinburgh North from 1918–1920.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1916. He was also appointed to the Dardanelles Commission. He served as Lord Advocate from 1916 to 1920 in the Coalition Government. He was appointed to the bench and served as Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session from 1920 to 1935, with the judicial title Lord Clyde. During this time Lord Clyde gave this famous quote (in taxation circles) in the case of Ayrshire Pullman Motor Services v Inland Revenue [1929] 14 Tax Case 754, at 763,764:[2]

"No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer's pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue"

He was Lord Lieutenant of Kinross-shire, and Chairman of the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland from 1936.

His eldest son James Latham Clyde, Lord Clyde later also became Lord Advocate and Lord Justice General.


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27346. p. 5410. 16 August 1901.
  2. ^ Martin Hagen, Tax Evasion or Legitimate... Accountancy Magazine November 2009

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Edward Theodore Salvesen
Solicitor General for Scotland
Succeeded by
Alexander Ure
Preceded by
Robert Munro
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
Thomas Brash Morison
Preceded by
Lord Strathclyde
Lord Justice General
Succeeded by
Lord Cooper of Culross
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Henry Purvis-Russell-Montgomery
Lord Lieutenant of Kinross-shire
Succeeded by
Henry Keith Purvis-Russell-Montgomery
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lewis McIver
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West
Succeeded by
John Gordon Jameson
New constituency Member of Parliament for Edinburgh North
Succeeded by
Patrick Johnstone Ford