Charles Areskine of Alva (1680-1763)

About Areskine

  • Regius Professor of the Law of Nature and Nations (Edinburgh, 1707-1734)
  • Studied in the Netherlands and Italy (1707-11)
  • Admitted advocate 1711, Solicitor General (1725-37), Lord Advocate (1737-42), Lord of Session from 1744, Lord Justice Clerk (1748-63)
  • Private library contained key natural law texts [see Baston, ‘Library’*]


  • Natural law included in teaching he did as a regent (tutor) at Edinburgh in the early eighteenth century [see his Theses philosophicae of 1704]
  • Inaugural lecture on ‘God as the Fountain of Law’
  • Advertised class ‘on the Laws of Nature and Nations’ starting 16 Nov 1711 in the Scots Courant [Cairns, ‘First’ 12*]
  • Probably used Grotius De jure belli ac pacis as his textbook [Cairns, ‘First’ 12*]

Publications, Manuscripts and other Resources

  • Lectures on philosophy and physics delivered at Edinburgh [probably by Charles Areskine] (1703) taken by Patrick Wilkie, later minister of Haddington (Advocates Library Adv. MS 20.7.1)
  • Theses philosophicæ, quas, auspice summo numine, generosi aliquot & ingenui juvenes Universitatis Jacobi Regis Edinburgenæ alumni, hac vice cum laurea emittendi, eruditorum examini subjicient, ad 12. diem Maii, H. Lq. S. Præside Carolo Areskine (Edinburgh 1704)

*For references, please see the Site Bibliography.