Theodora in Scotland

© Ernest Metzger. This page is part of the twin portals Roman Law Resources and Infor­mationsquellen zum römischen Recht, hosted by the University of Glasgow School of Law, SCOTLAND.

William M. Gordon MA, LLB, PhD, LLD (Hon), FRSE


Theodora in Scotland

Bill Gordon was born on 3 March 1933 and schooled at Inverurie Academy and Robert Gordon College. He took an M.A. in 1953 and an LL.B. in 1955 from the University of Aberdeen. He attended Roman law seminars with Prof David Daube in Aberdeen, and recounted his experience in 'David's Teaching in Aberdeen' (2010). He wrote:


I cannot say that David attracted me into the subject [of Roman law] as such because I was already attracted to it partly because I had enjoyed the study of Latin both at school and at university and partly because I believed that Roman law was the foundation of Scots law which was to be the main object of study. Time has taught me both that this belief was not entirely justified and that in any case the Roman law that David Daube taught and studied was not quite the Roman law which has influenced Scots law. (pp. 92-93.)


After National Service in the Royal Navy (1955-1957) he returned to the University of Aberdeen as Assistant in Jurisprudence (1957-1960). He became Lecturer in Civil Law in Glasgow in 1960, and completed a Ph.D. in 1963 under the supervision of Prof Peter Stein, University of Aberdeen. In 1965 he became Senior Lecturer in Private Law at Glasgow, and succeeded Prof Alan Watson as Douglas Professor of Civil Law in 1969. He retired from the Douglas Chair in 1999 and became Professorial Research Fellow, then Honorary Fellow, at Glasgow. He was awarded an Honorary LL.D. by the University of Aberdeen in 2005. He died on 1 September 2012.

Tributes and Obituaries

The tributes listed below are gathered from various public sources. Readers should be aware that sources like these are often available only for a time, or are moved behind a paywall.

— Tributes from the memorial service on 11 June 2013

— The Herald


— University of Glasgow

— Edinburgh Legal History

— Scots Law Times

William Morrison Gordon Bibliography

In progress: updated 31 March 2013. Compiled by Ernest Metzger. Any comments or additions will be gratefully received: ernest.metzger at glasgow.ac.uk

* * *

Gordon,William M. 1962. 'Interruption of Usucapio.' Revue Internationale DesDroits De l’Antiquité (3rd Series) 9: 325–333.

———.1963. 'Constitutum Possessorium.' In Studi in Onore Di Biondo Biondi,1:303–319. Milan: Giuffrè.

———.1964. 'The Liability of the Mandatary.' In Synteleia Vincenzo Arangio Ruiz,1:202–205. Naples: Jovene.

———.1965. 'Acquisition of Ownership by Traditio and Acquisition ofPossession.' Revue Internationale Des Droits De l’Antiquité (3rd Series)12: 279–300.

———.1967. 'The Roman Class of Quasi-delicts.' In Estudios De Derecho. HomenajeAl Profesor Sanchez Del Rio, 303–310. Temis 21. Zaragoza.

———.1968. 'The Interpretation of C. 8.55.8.' In Studi in Onore Di E. Volterra,4:413–418. Milan: Giuffrè.

———.1969. 'Roman Law and Scots Law — The Conditiones so Sine Liberis Decesserit.'Juridical Review (new Series) 14: 108–127.

———.1970a. Studies in the Transfer of Property by Traditio. (AberdeenUniversity Studies 151. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.

———.1970b. 'D. 33,2,31. Usufruct and Common Property.' In Studi in Onore Di G.Grosso, 307–313. Turin: Giappichelli.

———.1972. 'Scots Law and Roman Law.' Codicillus 13: 16–19.

———.1974. 'Cinus and Pierre De Belleperche.' In Daube Noster, ed. Watson,Alan, 105–117. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.

———.1976. 'Dating the Lex Aquilia.' Acta Juridica. Essays in Memoryof Ben Beinart: 315–321.

———.1980a. 'Stair’s Use of Roman Law.' In Law-Making and Law-Makers in BritishHistory, ed. Harding, A., 120–126. Royal Historical Society Studies 22.London.

———.1980b. 'Is Moving Land a Nuisance? New Developments South of the Border.' Journalof the Law Society of Scotland 25: 323–326.

———.1980c. 'Mutual Gable Walls. One for All and All for One.' Journal of the LawSociety of Scotland 25: 141–145.

———.1981a. 'Roman Law as a Source [of Stair’s Institutions].' In StairTercentenary Studies, ed. Walker, D. M., 107–112. Stair Society 33.Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.1981b. 'The Boundaries of Nuisance. Issues Raised by the Reo Stakis Case.' Journalof the Law Society of Scotland 26: 333–336.

———.1982a. 'Housholders’ Liability. McColl v Hoo and the Authority of Cleghornv Taylor.' Journal of the Law Society of Scotland 27: 253–258.

———.1982b. 'Observations on Depositum Irregulare.' In Studi in Onore Di ArnoldoBiscardi, 3:363–372. Milan: Cisalpino Istituto Editoriale Universitario.

———.1983a. 'The Actio De Posito Reconsidered.' In Studies in Justinian’sInstitutes in Memory of J. A. C. Thomas, ed. Stein, Peter and Lewis, AndrewD. E., 45–55. London: Sweet and Maxwell.

———.1983b. 'Agency and Roman Law.' In Studi in Onore Di Cesare Sanfilippo,3:341–349. Milan: Giuffrè.

———.1984a. 'Roman Law in a Nineteenth Century Scottish Case: Gowans v Christie.' InSodalitas: Scritti in Onore Di Antonio Guarino, 8:3371–3387. Naples:Jovene.

———.1984b. 'The Right of Women to Graduate in Medicine – Scottish JudicialAttitudes in the Nineteenth Century.' Journal of Legal History 5: 136–151.

———.1985a. 'Stair, Grotius and the Sources of Stair’s Institutions.' In SaturaRoberto Feenstra, ed. Ankum, J. A., Spruit, J. E., and Wubbe, F. B. J., 571–583.Fribourg: Universitätsverlag Freiburg Schweiz.

———.1985b. 'Digest 29.' In The Digest of Justinian, ed. Watson, Alan, 867–906.Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

———.1985c. 'Digest 17.1.' In The Digest of Justinian, ed. Watson, Alan, 479–498.Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

———.1985d. 'Digest 28.' In The Digest of Justinian, ed. Watson, Alan, 815–866.Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

———.1986. 'Legal Tradition with Particular Reference to Roman Law.' In The LegalMind: Essays for Tony Honoré, ed. MacCormick, Neil and Birks, Peter, 279–291.Oxford: Clarendon Press.

———.1987a. 'Variation and Discharge of Land Obligations.' In A ScotsConveyancing Miscellany. Essays in Honour of Professor J M Halliday, ed.Cusine, D. J., 67–90. Edinburgh: W. Green.

———.1987b. 'The Wrongs and Rights of Vesting.' Journal of the Law Society ofScotland 32: 218–219.

———.1988a. 'Property and Succession Rights.' In The Legal Relevance of Gender.Some Aspects of Sex-Based Discrimination, ed. Maclean, Sheila and Burrows,Noreen, 61–79. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

———.1988b. 'The Law Degree - as Seen from Glasgow.' In Legal Education, ed.Grant, J. P., 87–94. Aldershot.

———.1989a. Scottish Land Law. Edinburgh: Greens.

———.1989b. 'The Importance of the Iusta Causa of Traditio.' In New Perspectivesin the Roman Law of Property. Essays for Barry Nicholas, ed. Birks, Peter,123–135. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

———.1989c. 'Introduction.' In Bell’s Principles of the Law of Scotland, v–xi.10th ed. Edinburgh: Law Society of Scotland.

———.1990. 'George Joseph Bell - Law Commissioner.' In Obligations in Context.Essays in Honour of Professor D M Walker, ed. Gamble, A., 79–99. Edinburgh:W. Green.

———.1991. 'Introduction.' In The Court Book of the Barony and Regality ofFalkirk and Callendar, ed. Hunter, D. M., vii, x–xv. Stair Society 38.Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.1992. 'Donation.' In The Laws of Scotland. Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia,ed. Smith, T. B., 601–668. Edinburgh: Law Society of Scotland and Butterworths.

Gordon,William M., ed. 1993a. Miscellany Three. Stair Society 39. Edinburgh:Stair Society.

Gordon,William M. 1993b. 'Foreword.' In Bankton, Institute of the Law of Scotland,1:iii–iv. Stair Society 41. Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.1993c. 'Angleterre Et Ecosse.' In La Circulation Du Modèle Juridique Français.Journees Franco-italiennes, 595–611. Travaux De l’Association HenriCapitant Des Amis De La Culture Juridique Français 44. Paris: Éditions Litec.

———.1993d. 'Corporeal Moveable Property.' In The Laws of Scotland. StairMemorial Encyclopaedia, ed. Smith, T. B., 18:442–472. Edinburgh: Law Societyof Scotland and Butterworths.

———.1993e. 'Accession.' In The Laws of Scotland. Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia,ed. Smith, T. B., 18:489–492. Edinburgh: Law Society of Scotland andButterworths.

———.1993f. 'Transfer of Property.' In The Laws of Scotland. Stair MemorialEncyclopaedia, ed. Smith, T. B., 502–504, 507–514. Edinburgh: Law Societyof Scotland and Butterworths.

———.1994a. 'Foreword.' In Bankton, Institute of the Law of Scotland, 2:iii–iv.Stair Society 42. Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.1994b. 'Going to the Fair - Jacques De Révigny on Possession.' In The RomanLaw Tradition, ed. Lewis, Andrew D. E. and Ibbetson, David J., 73–97.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

———.1994c. 'Scotland and France. The Legal Connection.' Index. Quaderni CamertiDi Studi Romanistici 22: 557–566.

———.1995a. 'Foreword and Introduction.' In Bankton, Institute of the Law ofScotland, 3:v–xxiv. Stair Society 43. Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.1995b. 'Roman Influence on the Scots Law of Real Security.' In The Civil LawTradition in Scotland, ed. Evans-Jones, Robin, 157–175. Stair SocietySuppl. 2. Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.1995c. 'Roman Law in Scotland.' In The Civil Law Tradition in Scotland,ed. Evans-Jones, Robin, 13–40. Stair Society Suppl. 2. Edinburgh: StairSociety.

———.1995d. 'Roman Law and Scots Law - A Bibliography.' In The Civil LawTradition in Scotland, ed. Evans-Jones, Robin, 310–327. Staie SocietySuppl. 2. Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.1995e. 'The Acts of the Scottish Lords of Council in the Late Fifteenth andEarly Sixteenth Centuries: Records and Reports.' In Law Reporting inBritain. Proceedings of the Eleventh British Legal History Conference, ed.Stebbings, C., 55–71. London: Hambledon Press.

———.1995f. 'Risk in Sale in Roman Law.' In Collatio Iuris Romani.  Études Dédiéesà Hans Ankum, 123–130. Amsterdam: Gieben.

———.1996a. 'Corporeal Moveable Property.' In The Law of Property in Scotland,428–457. Edinburgh: Butterworths.

———.1996b. 'Accession.' In The Law of Property in Scotland, 473–475.Edinburgh: Butterworths.

———.1996c. 'Transfer of Ownership.' In The Law of Property in Scotland, 485–487,490–497. Edinburgh: Butterworths.

———.1997. 'Roman Quasi-Delicts and Scots Law.' Bullettino dell’Istituto DiDiritto Romano (3rd Series) 39: 101–116.

———.1998a. 'Succession.' In A Companion to Justinian’s Institutes, ed.Metzger, Ernest, 80–126. London: Duckworth.

———.1998b. 'Bartolus.' In The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed.Craig, E., 658–659. London: Routledge.

———.1998c. 'European Legal History and the Europeanisation of Law.' In TheEuropeanisation of Law, ed. Watkins, Thomas Glyn, 52–62. United KingdomComparative Law Series 18.

———.1998d. 'A Comparison of the Influence of Roman Law in England and Scotland.' InThe Civilian Tradition and Scots Law. Aberdeen Quincentenary Essays, 135–148.Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

———.1998e. 'The Place of Legal History in the Teaching of  Comparative Law and theEducation of Comparative Lawyers.' In Millennium, 286–297. UnitedKingdom Comparative Law Series 19. London: United Kingdom National Committee ofComparative Law.

———.1999. Scottish Land Law. 2nd ed. Scottish Universities Law Institute.Edinburgh: Greens.

———.2000a. 'Sale.' In A History of Private Law in Scotland, ed. Reid, K. andZimmermann, Reinhard, 2:305–332. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

———.2000b. 'Translation and Interpretation.' In Essays in Honour of Alan Watson,ed. Cairns, John W. and Robinson, O. F., 61–72. Oxford: Hart Publishing.

———.2000c. 'Scotland as a Mixed Jurisdiction.' In Au-delà Des Frontières. MélangesDe Droit Romain Offerts à Witold Wolodkiewicz, ed. Zabłocka, M., 1:323–331.Warsaw: LIBER, University of Warsaw Press.

———.2001a. 'Servitudes. Scots Law and Roman Law.' In Iuris Vincula. Studi inOnore Di Mario Talamanca, 275–285. Naples: Jovene.

———.2001b. 'The Civil Law in Scotland.' Edinburgh Law Review 5: 1–15.

———.2002a. 'Balfour’s Registrum.' In Miscellany Four, ed. MacQueen, Hector,127–137. Stair Society 49. Edinburgh: Stair Society.

———.2002b. 'Scotland – Legal History.' Zeitschrift Für Neuere Rechtsgeschichte24: 156–171.

———.2003. 'Risk in Sale.' In Roman Law as Formative of Modern Legal Systems.Studies in Honour of Wiesław Litewski, ed. Sondel, J., Reszczyński,J., and Ściślicki, P., 1:115–124. Krakow: Jagiellonian UniversityPress.

———.2007. Roman Law, Scots Law and Legal History. Selected Essays.Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

———.2010. 'David’s Teaching in Aberdeen.' In David Daube: A CentenaryCelebration, ed. Metzger, Ernest, 88–100. Glasgow: Traditio Iuris Romani.

Gordon,William M., and Fergus, T. D., ed. 1991. Legal History in the Making.Proceedings of the Ninth British Legal History Conference, Glasgow, 1989.London: Hambledon Press.

Gordon,William M., and Hunter, D. M., ed. 1991. The Court Book of the Barony andRegality of Falkirk and Callendar. Stair Society 38. Edinburgh: StairSociety.

Gordon,William M., and Robinson, O. F. 1988. The Institutes of Gaius, Translationwith Introduction and Vocabulary. London: Duckworth.

Gordon,William M., Robinson, O. F., and Fergus, T. D. 1985. An Introduction toEuropean Legal History. Abingdon: Professional Books.

———.1994. European Legal History. Sources and Institutions. 2nd ed. London:Butterworths.

———.2000. European Legal History. Sources and Institutions. 3rd ed. London:Butterworths.

Gordon,William M., Rowan Robinson , J., and Reid, C. T. 1993. Public Access to theCountryside. A Guide to the Law, Practice and Procedure in Scotland.Edinburgh: (Scottish Natural Heritage.

Gordon,William M., and Waal, M. J. de. 2004. 'Servitudes and Real Burdens.' In MixedLegal Systems in Comparative Perspective: Property and Obligations in Scotlandand South Africa, ed. Zimmermann, Reinhard, Visser, D., and Reid, K., 735–757.Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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