Tried for Killing Boswell's Son in a Duel [Trial]. Stuart, James [1775-1849], Defendant. The Trial of James Stuart, Esq., Younger of Dunearn, Before the High Court of Justiciary, At Edinburgh, On Monday, June 10, 1822. With an Appendix of Documents. Taken in Short Hand. Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co./London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co.: James Ridgway, 1822. [iv], 186, , 20 pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5-1/4"). Recent period-style quarter calf over marbled boards, lettering piece and blind fillets to spine, marbled edges, endpapers renewed. Moderate toning to text, light foxing to a few leaves, light soiling and owner signature ("Archb. Speirs Esq. of Elderley") to title page, faint fold line to its upper outside corner. A nice copy in a handsome binding. $450. * First edition. The son of Samuel Johnson's associate James Boswell, Sir Alexander Boswell, first Baronet [1775-1822] was a Scottish poet, antiquary, and song writer. He used the funds from his inheritance to purchase a seat in Parliament and later achieved a Baronetcy for his political support of the government. After he left Parliament, Boswell wrote a series of anonymous essays denouncing James Stuart, a prominent Whig. When Stuart suspected Boswell's authorship, he demanded that Boswell deny authorship or apologize. Boswell refused to do either, so Stuart challenged him to a duel. Boswell deliberately fired wide, but Stuart, who had never before handled a gun, shot Boswell in the collarbone. The wound was fatal. Despite Boswell's popularity, Stuart was acquitted unanimously. Catalogue of the Library of the Harvard Law School (1909) II:1200.
Book number 72635