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Historic Scotland (link to follow)

John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee1

M, #12801, b. 19 February 1796, d. 4 August 1882
Last Edited: 5 May 2020


Father*: William William Baxter yarn merchant2 b. 1769, d. 30 Aug 1840
Mother*: Agnes Boyd2 b. s 1768
  • (Child) Birth*: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee was born on 19 February 1796 at Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, .3,4
  • He was the son of William William Baxter yarn merchant and Agnes Boyd.2
  • Marriage*: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee married Margaret E Edward on Monday, 11 June 1827 at Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; John Boyd Baxter
    Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910.3,5
  • (Deceased) Death*: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee died on 4 August 1882 at Craigtay, Ferry Road, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, , at age 86.2
  • Biography*: He From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.
    John Boyd Baxter, Writer - 25th October 1823
    JOHN BOYD BAXTER was the Son of WILLIAM W. BAXTER, a cousin of WILLIAM BAXTER, the founder of the eminent firm of BAXTER BROTHERS. He was born in Dundee on 19th February, 1796, was educated at the Grammar School of the Burgh, and was apprenticed to a legal practitioner with the intention of becoming a solicitor. After his term was completed he removed in 1815 to Edinburgh, and prosecuted his studies both at the Law Classes in the University and in the office of a legal firm there. On his return to Dundee he passed as Procurator before the Sheriff Court of Forfarshire, and settled to the practice of law in his native town in 1821.
    The civic affairs of the Burgh were then in a state of turmoil. The Guildry had been successful to some extent in breaking up the ring that for a long period had ruled by self election; but an attempt at reaction was made in October, 1823, by some of the members of the old party, who brought forward Mr J. BOYD BAXTER as a candidate for the office of Clerk to the Guildry in opposition to Mr JAMES SAUNDERS, who had held that post for several years in the interest of the party of progress. Strenuous efforts were made to procure the election of Mr BAXTER, but he was defeated by a majority of one, the votes for SAUNDERS being 54 and for BAXTER 53.
    The latter was enrolled as a Burgess immediately after his defeat. In May, 1824, he was appointed one of the Procurators Fiscal for the Dundee district of Forfarshire. This important office he administered for the very long term of fifty seven years, his resignation of it taking effect in March, 1881. His official duties were so extensive arid absorbing that he had little time to devote to the political or civic questions agitated in the Burgh, and though his advice on these matters was frequently sought and freely given, his name did not appear prominently in public.
    In 1874 the University of St Andrews conferred upon him the degree of LL.D., "in consideration of his high legal status and literary gifts," and he was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on the Law Courts of Scotland. As his fiftieth year of office as Procurator Fiscal was completed in May, 1874, he was presented on that occasion with an address signed by many leading citizens of Dundee, in which his long and faithful services to the public were duly acknowledged, and a marble bust of him, executed by WILMAM BRODIE, R.S.A., was unveiled and placed in the Library of the Faculty of Procurators. In Dr BAXTER'S speech in reply to this address, the desirability of establishing a College in Dundee was referred to; and afterwards, with the sanction of Miss BAXTER of Balgavies, he laid before the Town Council a scheme for the foundation of such an institution, and asked their co operation in realizing the idea. The sum of £150,000, which he considered necessary for this purpose, seemed to the Council too great for them to expect readily to obtain by public subscription, and the project was abandoned for a time.
    Six years after the idea had been mooted, Dr BAXTER came forward with a most munificent proposal. Miss BAXTER, he announced, was willing to hand over £130,000 towards this object, in the hope that others would follow her example. Shortly afterwards Dr BAXTER added to it a further contribution of £10,000, making the whole sum amount to £140,000. No time was lost in applying this princely donation to the purpose intended, and the University College thus established will long form a striking memorial of the generous founders.
    In acknowledgment of his services to the Burgh, a movement was originated by the Free Library Committee to have Dr BAXTER'S portrait painted by SIR DANIEL MACNEE, P.R.S.A., and presented to him. On 9th September, 1881, the presentation was made, and Dr BAXTER handed over the portrait to the PROVOST, that it might be placed in the permanent collection of pictures belonging to the town. Dr BAXTER died at his residence, Craigtay, Broughty Ferry Road, on 4th August, 1882..4
  • Map*: Craigtay Hotel and John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee lived in the place marked on this map between 1857 and 1861 at Craigtay, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, , along with Charles Guthrie List of names as written CRAIGTAY Various modes of spelling Craigtay
    Authorities for spelling - Baxter, Esqre.
    Charles Guthrie Esqre
    Situation 054
    Description remarks A commodious dwelling house on the south side of the Broughty Ferry Road with Vegetable and ornamental ground attached. property and Residence of - Baxter Esqre.6,7
    1865 Craigtay [nls maps]
  • (Witness) Death: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee witnessed the death of Mary Laing on 13 April 1859 at Victoria Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; 1859 deaths in the 1st district of the burgh of Dundee in the county of Forfar; ref 468; Ramsay or Laing Mary married; died 1859 April thirteenth earlier in the morning pricise hour unknown at Victoria Street; f 35 years; no parents recorded; cause suffocation as cert by Dr Cocks Dundee saw body soon after death; burial place not known; registered on the information of John Skinner for John B Baxter Procurator Fiscal, registered 1859 May 19th at Dundee signed Wm Fairweather registrar.1
  • (Witness) Memorial Inscription: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee is commemorated on the headstone erected on 14 March 1867 at Roodyards Burial Ground, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . Inscription reads In affectionate remembrance of JOHN Edward BAXTER who died 14/3/1867 aged 38y and of his parents JOHN BOYD BAXTER L.L.B. Solicitor and for nearly 53 years Procurator Fiscal in Dundee who was born 19/2/1798 and died at Craigtay 4/8/1882 and Margaret Edward of BAXTER who was born 4/2/1807 and died at Craigtay 13/10/1882.8
  • Newspaper Article*: He was mentioned in a newspaper article At Craigtay, on 4th inst., JOHN BOYD BAXTER, LL.D., Dean of the Faculty of Procurators and Solicitors of Dundee, in his 87th year. on 8 August 1882 at Craigtay, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, .9
  • (Spouse) Death: His spouse Margaret E Edward died on 15 October 1882 at Craigtay, Ferry Road, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, .10

Census Events

Head of Household30 March 1851He was listed as head of household along with spouse Margaret E Edward in the 1851 census at Carolina Port House, Ferry Road, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . John B     Baxter     Head     Married     Male     54     1797     Procurator Fiscal     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
Margaret     Baxter     Wife     Married     Female     50     1801     -     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
John E     Baxter     Son     Unmarried     Male     22     1829     Merchant     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
Janett     Jackson     Servant     Unmarried     Female     36     1815     Servant     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
Elisth     Weighton     Servant     Unmarried     Female     26     1825     Servant     Perthshire, Scotland
Ann     Bower     Servant     Unmarried     Female     28     1823     Servant     Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland; also in the household were John Edward Baxter.11
Head of Household7 April 1861He was listed as head of household in the 1861 census at Craig Tay House, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . John Boyd Baxter Head Married Male 65 1796 Writer & Procurator Fiscal
Of Dundee Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland

Margaret E Baxter Wife Married Female 60 1801 - Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland

Betsy Wighton Servant Unmarried Female 40 1821 Domestic Serv Liff, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland

Mary Walker Servant Unmarried Female 27 1834 Domestic Serv Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland

Helen Fyall Servant Unmarried Female 23 1838 Domestic Serv Largo, Fife, Scotland.3

Head of Household2 April 1871He was listed as head of household along with spouse Margaret E Edward in the 1871 census at 101 Ferry Road, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . John Boyd     Baxter     Head     Married     Male     75     1796     Procurator Fiscal Of Forfarsh     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
Margaret B     Baxter     Wife     Married     Female     70     1801     Procurator Fiscal Of Forfarsh Wife     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
Helen     Valentine     Servant     Unmarried     Female     33     1838     Cook Domestic     Fettercairn, Kincardineshire, Scotland
Rachel     Scott     Servant     Unmarried     Female     19     1852     Lady's Maid     Selkirkshire, Scotland
Harriet     Jack     Servant     Unmarried     Female     25     1846     Table Maid     -
Elizabeth     Mackay     Servant     Unmarried     Female     32     1839     House Maid     Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland.12
Head of Household3 April 1881He was listed as head of household along with spouse Margaret E Edward in the 1881 census at 101 Ferry Road, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . John B     Baxter     Head     Married     Male     85     1796     Solicitor     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
Margaret     Baxter     Wife     Married     Female     80     1801     -     Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland
Jane     McKay     Servant     Widow     Female     49     1832     Housemaid     Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Chrisa     Young     Servant     Unmarried     Female     35     1846     Cook     Perthshire, Scotland
Agnes     Whitton     Servant     Unmarried     Female     24     1857     Table Maid     England
Mary     Scott     Servant     Unmarried     Female     23     1858     Ladies Maid     Lindean, Roxburghshire, Scotland.13


Margaret E Edward b. 1801, d. 15 Oct 1882
  • Marriage*: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee married Margaret E Edward on Monday, 11 June 1827 at Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; John Boyd Baxter
    Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910.3,5


John Edward Baxter11 b. 1829, d. 14 Mar 1867
  • Residence: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee and Craigtay Hotel lived between 1842 and 1843.
  • Residence: John Boyd Baxter Writer & PF Dundee and Craigtay Hotel lived between 1844 and 1845 at Craig Tay, Ferry Road, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, .14


  1. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS Statutory Death 1859 Dundee ref 282/01 0468; image held [Jul 2008].
  2. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory death 1881 Dundee St Andrew 282/4 626 image held [Oct 2019].
  3. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Record Transcription:
    1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census
    Craig Tay House, Dundee, 1St Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland [Dec 2019].
  4. [S131] FDCA, online www.FDCA.gov.uk, FDCA (City Square, Dundee), From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.
    © 2011 Friends of Dundee City Archives. All rights reserved. (Scottish Registered Charity SCO 006813) [Oct 2019].
  5. [S56] International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: International Genealogical Index), Record Collection:
    Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910 [May 2020].
  6. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/digital-volumes/ordnance-survey-name-books/forfarshire-angus-os-name-books-1857-1861/forfar-angus-volume-18/6
  7. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) https://maps.nls.uk/view/74426931
  8. [S62] Website Deceased online (www.deceasedonline.com) Headstone Collection
    Dundee City Headstone Collections (Scotland)
    Roodyards Burial ground Broughty ferry
    last name
    Baxter [May 2020].
  9. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Newspapers Collection Dundee Advertiser [Oct 2019].
  10. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory death 1882 Dundee St Andrew 282/4 847 image held [May 2020].
  11. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Record Transcription:
    1851 England, Wales & Scotland Census
    Carolina Port House, Ferry Road, Dundee, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland [May 2020].
  12. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Record Transcription:
    1871 England, Wales & Scotland Census
    101, Ferry Road, Dundee, St Andrew, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland [May 2020].
  13. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Record Transcription:
    1881 England, Wales & Scotland Census
    101, Ferry Road, Dundee, St Andrew, Forfarshire (Angus), Scotland[May 2020].
  14. [S37] Directory Dundee (Dundee:, Dundee Directories collection 1844-45 [Oct 2019]. Hereinafter cited as Dundee Directory.