Baillie, Charles, Lord Jerviswoode 1804-1879, a lord justiciary of the Scotch court of session, the second son of Mr. George Baillie, of Mellerstain, Berwickshire, and of Jerviswoode, Lanarkshire, was born at Mellerstain on 3 Nov. 1804. Paternally he was descended from the memorable Baillie of Jerviswoode [qv.], who died on the scaffold in 1684 for real or supposed treason in the interests of the Duke of Monmouth. His mother was Mary, the youngest daughter of Sir James Pringle, baronet, of Stitchill, Roxburghshire. He was admitted as an advocate at the Scottish bar in 1830, and married, 27 Dec. 1831, the Hon. Anne Scott, third daughter of the fourth Lord Polwarth. The influence of his family connections combined with his high character and attainments to secure his rapid rise at the bar. He filled the office of advocate-depute from 1844 to 1846 under the ministry of Sir Robert Peel, and again in 1852 under that of the late Earl of Derby. He was appointed sheriff of Stirlingshire, 2 March 1853, and acted in that capacity till, on the re-accession of Lord Derby to power, 26 Feb. 1858, he was made solicitor-general for Scotland, his appointment being gazetted 17 March. Later in the same year, 10 July 1858, he was gazetted her majesty's advocate, or lord-advocate, for Scotland—an office for which a seat in the House of Commons is a necessary qualification, and Baillie was returned without opposition for the county of Linlithgow, 7 Feb. 1859. He had represented this constituency little more than two months, however, when he was elevated, 15 April, to the Scottish bench as a judge of the court of session, where he sat, under the courtesy title of Lord Jerviswoode, during a period of fifteen years, for twelve of which he also sat in the supreme criminal court, having been appointed, 17 June 1862, a lord of justiciary in succession to Lord Ivory, resigned. Previous to this latter date, Lord Jerviswoode had been raised, in 1859, together with his two younger brothers, by royal warrant to the rank and precedence of an earl's son. As counsel, Mr. Baillie was distinguished for his deliberation rather than for his forensic ability; and he discouraged lengthy litigation. As judge, Lord Jerviswoode had a high character for courtesy, sagacity, patient and painstaking investigation, competent learning, and uprightness; he lacked originality, but was habitually laconic in his utterances. In 1874, Lord Jerviswoode retired on a pension from his judicial functions and from public life to his country residence, Dryburgh House, near St. Boswell's, Roxburghshire, in the quiet and seclusion of which he chiefly spent his time until his death, which took place at Dryburgh, 23 July 1879.
Lord Jerviswoode patriotically officiated as convener of the acting committee of the Wallace monument, erected on the Abbey Craig, Stirling, and he formally handed over the keeping of the edifice, which was completed in 1869, to the provost, magistrates, and town council of the burgh, and the patrons of Cowan's hospital, the owners of the Craig. In 1861 he was elected assessor of the university of St. Andrew's, and was a trustee of the board of manufactures of Scotland. For a number of years he was the president of the Edinburgh Border Counties Association, and in that capacity took an active part in the movement for the celebration of the centenary of Sir Walter Scott. Lord Jerviswoode was a conservative, and a warm supporter of the church of Scotland.
Scots Magazine, November 1804
London Gazette and Gent. Mag., passim
Scotsman, and Edinburgh Courant, 24 July
Times, 26 July, and Law Times, 2 Aug. 1879
Foster's Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage of the British Empire, 1882.
Contributor: A. H. G. [Arthur Henry Grant]