Adam Gifford

(Lord Gifford)

1820 - 1887

Advocate and judge. Born in Edinburgh, Gifford was educated at the Edinburgh Institution and the University of Edinburgh, where he read law. He was appointed an advocate in 1849 and grew wealthy defending numerous clients. Politically he was a liberal and was appointed Advocate Depute for Scotland by Lord Palmerston in 1861, and as such prosecuted cases for the Crown. In 1870, he was raised to the bench in the Court of Session as Lord Gifford, serving until 1881. Thereafter he became a noted lecturer on philosophical and religious topics. He died at his home, Granton House in Edinburgh and lies buried in Old Calton Cemetery, next to his parents. He bequeathed the enormous sum of £80,000 to the four Scottish universities then existing (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, and St. Andrews) for the establishment of a series of lectures dealing with the topic of natural theology. The Gifford Lectures began in 1888 and, with the exception of a few years during the Second World War, have been delivered continuously since then by a series of lecturers recognised as pre-eminent thinkers in their respective fields.

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