John Skene, Lord Curriehill

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Sir John Skene, Lord Curriehill (c. 1543 – 1617) was a Scottish prosecutor, ambassador, and judge.

He was regent in St Mary's College, St Andrews from 1564-5 and became an advocate in 1575.

As joint Lord Advocate from 1589 to 1594, he was zealous in the prosecution of witches. He served as ambassador to Holland from 1591. He was appointed Lord Clerk Register and Lord of Session, with the judicial title of Lord Curriehill in 1594, serving until 1611.

His compilation of old Scots law Regiam Majestatem is a source of the laws of Scotland previous to James I. He was granted a pension by Regent Morton for preparing a digest of laws. He also produced a Scots law dictionary, De Verborum Significatione.

He is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh. His memorial stands on the north face of the church.


  • Concise Dictionary of National Biography

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