Alexander Ure, 1st Baron Strathclyde

Alexander Ure, 1st Baron Strathclyde, GBE, PC, QC (22 February 1853 – 2 October 1928) was a Scottish politician, judge, and georgist land value tax activist.[1]

The Lord Strathclyde

1895 Alexander Ure.jpg
Alexander Ure c.1895
Solicitor General for Scotland
In office
MonarchEdward VII
Preceded byJames Avon Clyde
Succeeded byArthur Dewar
Personal details
Born22 February 1853
Died2 October 1928 (aged 75)
Political partyLiberal
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
Ure's Georgian townhouse at 31 Heriot Row, Edinburgh
Cairndhu House in Helensburgh


He was the son of John Ure, Lord Provost of Glasgow and his wife Isabella.[2]

He studied Law at the University of Glasgow he was admitted to membership of the Faculty of Advocates in 1878.

He was Liberal Member of Parliament for Linlithgowshire from 1895 to 1913. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1897.[3]

He provided as Solicitor General for Scotland from December 1905[4] to 1909, and as Lord Advocate from February 1909[5] to 1913. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Lloyd George's 1909–10 budget. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1909.[6] In 1909, he conducted the prosecution of Oscar Slater for murder; the conviction was later quashed on appeal.

During his working life he lived at 31 Heriot Row, a large Georgian townhouse, in Edinburgh's Second New Town.[7]

On leaving Parliament he was raised to the bench as Lord Strathclyde and appointed Lord Justice General, a post he held until 1920. He was raised to the Peerage as Baron Strathclyde, of Sandyford in the County of Lanark, in 1914. In 1917, he was appointed to the Order of the British Empire as a Knight Grand Cross.[6] He is said to have been skilled in cross-examination, and was more suited to life as an advocate than as a judge.

He retired to his father's house of Cairndhu in Helensburgh in 1920 and died there in 1928. He is buried in Helensburgh Cemetery.[2]

Famous TrialsEdit

Ure famously oversaw the trial of alleged murderer, Oscar Slater, now seen as a serious mis-trial. Although Ure sentenced him to death in 1909 the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Following a campaign by Arthur Conan Doyle and others Slater received a pardon but only having served 18 years in Peterhead Prison.[8][9]


In 1879 he married Margaret McDowell Steven. their only child was a daughter, Chruistopbel Helen Ure who died in 1918, before the Baron's death.

The peerage therefore became extinct on his death.


  1. ^ Whitehead, Andrew (1 May 2011). "God Gave the Land to the People: the Liberal 'Land Song'". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b Fullarton, Donald. "Cairndhu owner became Lord Provost". Helensburgh Heritage. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  3. ^ "No. 10915". The Edinburgh Gazette. 3 September 1897. p. 849.
  4. ^ "No. 11787". The Edinburgh Gazette. 19 December 1905. p. 1313.
  5. ^ "No. 12118". The Edinburgh Gazette. 19 February 1909. p. 173.
  6. ^ a b "Page 47077". The Peerage. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  7. ^ Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory 1905-6.
  8. ^ Scotland's Murder Mysteries: 4 April 2018.
  9. ^ The Trial Of Oscar Slater, Wm Roughhead

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Hope
Member of Parliament for Linlithgowshire
Succeeded by
John Pratt
Legal offices
Preceded by
James Avon Clyde
Solicitor General for Scotland
Succeeded by
Arthur Dewar
Preceded by
Thomas Shaw
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
Robert Munro
Preceded by
The Lord Dunedin
Lord Justice General
Succeeded by
James Avon Clyde
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Strathclyde
1st creation