Alexander Low, Lord Low

Alexander Low, Lord Low (1845–1910) was a 19th/20th century Scottish law lord who served as a Senator of the College of Justice.


He was born on 23 October 1845 the son of James Low of The Laws, in Berwickshire and his wife, Jessy Turnbull of Abbey St. Bathans. He was educated at Cheltenham College then studied Moral Science at St Andrews University and St John's College, Cambridge. He then began a Law course at Edinburgh University. He passed the Scottish Bar as an advocate in 1870.

In 1875 he was working as an advocate from 1 Queensferry Street in Edinburgh's West End.

In 1889 he was made Sheriff of Ross and Cromarty. In November 1890 he was elected a Senator of the College of Justice.

In 1895 he was living at 12 Drumsheugh Gardens, a very fine Victorian townhouse.

He resigned on grounds of ill-health in 1904 and died at the family home of The Laws on 14 October 1910 and was buried at Whitsome churchyard.


Lord Low's most noteworthy case was the Free Church of Scotland v. the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1900 (formally known as Bannatyne v. Overtoun) relating to he partial merge of these two to created the United Free Church of Scotland. The case centred on the issue as to whether or not the church as a body or the congregations owned church property, and echoed earlier arguments of the Disruption of 1843. Lord Low judged in favour of the United Church and the Free Church lost their property. However, this was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1904 causing great complications, and claims of compensation which greatly damaged the new church.


Editor of the "Scottish Law Reporter".


He married Annie Adele Mackenzie (1854-1925), daughter of Donald Mackenzie, Lord Mackenzie.

Artistic Recognition

He was portrayed by Fiddes Watt.