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ember of the Privy Council. As public prosecutor hs
[was called cruel by the Covenanters, whom, being a high
jtory, he pursued with all the tenors of the law, At the;
Revolution he was dismissed, and retired to Oxford 1689.
He died in London 1691. He founded, or was principally
concerned in the founding of the Advocate's Library, 1680.
He was the author of the Institutes of Scots Law, and ten
other works.
page 53.
This gentleman's name was James Weir, who was a man
ef the most liberal education, and brought to Dundee
to superintend the academy, by the advice and influ-
ence of the late Rev. Dr Robert Small. He was per-
fectly able for his duty ; but as a profound mathematician
confessed to his friends bis inferiority to his assistant, Mr
James Ivory.
At that time a perpetual motion was a topic of the day,
and this he attempted, 1st, by elastic balls, and 2dly, by
the repelling and attractive powers of the poles of the mag-
Betic needle. The principles of these cannot be detailed
here. He endeavoured to increase mechanical power by
contriving a frame to throw off two stockings at once. It
failed. A desideratum in the navy is an artificial horizon,
when the true one cannot be seen, in taking observations by
Hadley's quadrant. This he attempted, and contrived a
dark mirror, reflecting from the surface, and whirled round
by a spring with such velocity that the motion could not
be perceived. This, when hung in jimbles, like the mari-
ner's compass, resisted the rolling and pitching motion of
any vessel, but was rendered deficient by the motion of the
vessel bodily upwards, well known to sailors. This, how-
ever, recommended him to the Board of Longitude, by
â– whom he was employed in some improvements on the sex-?
tant, and very handsomely rewarded. After leaving Dun*
dee academy he began the academy of Inverness, but sona
left it. He was subject to epilepsy, and died ef that di&*
ease in London.
R 2

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