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EMINENT FOR ACHIEVEMENTS IN
ARMS AND ARTS, CHURCH AND STATE, LAW, LEGISLATION,
AND LITERATURE, COMMERCE, SCIENCE,
TRAVEL, AND PHILANTHROPY.
COMPILED AND ARRANGED
PAISLEY: ALEXANDER GARDNER.
The design of this hand-book will be greatly misunderstood, and even some measure of injustice, unconsciously it may be, directed against the Compiler if it is looked upon in any light as intended to minister to national vanity by exhibiting the achievements of Scotsmen in the way of challenge to other divisions of the Kingdom. With old Scottish traditions still influencing national life, and with her own legal, ecclesiastical, and municipal systems yet preserved in all their bristling peculiarities, there might be much interesting information conveyed by working on such lines; but the whole tendency of modern civilizing influences being to draw together people of kindred race or interest, it has been thought better to design the book only as a contribution to the Biographical History of the United Kingdom. Such history the writer would like to see more complete and recent than anything presently existing. The Biography of Counties or Shires, of Parishes, and even of single families, might all be made full of interesting details, and at the same time fitted to be of vast use to the general as well as to the local historian. For the avoidance of another kind of error, a sentence or two more may be necessary. "The Book of Scotsmen" will be found essentially a Brief Dictionary-reasonably accurate, it is hoped, so far as it goes, but, at the same time, suggestive rather than exhaustive. The names of most of the old historical families will be found represented by some 'specially prominent member, yet no pretension is made to mere genealogical or family history. This has already been well and fully done in various compilations of easy access, Current Parliamentary Guides, and Guides to the Church, the Bench, and the Bar, may be in the hands of anybody who requires them. Then, in the case of authors and artists, a few of their best-known works are mentioned; but “The Book” is not to be accepted as either a Scottish Bibliography or a Scottish Art Catalogue. To accomplish such a task perfectly, even were it possible, would require many volumes equal in size to the present. Instead of discussing or estimating conduct, what has