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The Right HONOURABLE LORD CAIRNS,
In the following Work I have endeavoured to give an account of the History, Constitution, Jurisdiction, and Procedure of Courts of the First Instance, belonging to a system in whose highest Court of Appeal you preside. In availing myself of the kind permission to dedicate the work to your Lordship, I venture to hope that you may not find it uninteresting to see how the office of Sheriff, which (derived in both instances from the same Anglo-Saxon source) in England sank beneath the influence of the Central Courts to the performance of executive functions, in Scotland has retained much of its original jurisdiction, has found its place among the more modern tribunals, and continues to perform—as I believe with general and warm approval—a very large proportion of the judicial work of the country.
I have the honour to remain,
Your Lordship’s most obedient Servant,
J. DOVE WILSON.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
The First Edition of this work having been out of print for some time, I have prepared the present, incorporating the Statutes and Decisions of the last seven years, many of them of considerable importance.
By the addition of an Introduction containing an account of the History of the Sheriff Courts, I have completed, in this Edition, the plan of the whole work as originally designed
SHERIFFS' CHAMBERS, ABERDEEN, October 1875.