This James was the son of Robert the Regent and brother of Thomas the merchant in London. A good deal is known about him. There is one small clue to his early days. He was married by special License when in his twenties. A special license in those days was expensive. Did a rich and sympathetic relative bear the cost? Against this was his seeming friendliness to the Hanoverians - against the family trend - but many Scots families had a foot in each "camp". Anyway the doubt remains.
He was an M.D. of Edinburgh 1699, and of Leyden 1718. His marriage was at Lincolns Inn Chapel February 4, 1705/6 and the register records - Lidderdale, James, gent of St. Martin in the Fields, bachelor, 26, and Frances Haddock of St. Michael le Querne, spinster, 23, her father's consent "B" - B a Bishop of London's Office. That is to say the marriage was by Special License. According to that he was born 1679/80. His age when he died, given by his granddaughter who erected a memorial to him in Wilton Church, near Daventry, was 85. But deducting this age from the date taken from his burial certificate obtained from St. Peter's, Mansfield, Notts, 14 November 1761, he was born about 1676. His granddaughter was probably right. Mrs. Geoffrey Sheppard, a descendant, of the Garden Flat, 35 Gloucester Avenue, Regent's Park, N.W.1., owns portraits of the Doctor and his wife. Frances is said to have bean beautiful. Tradition says he was interested in the city and this is sufficiently confirmed by this quotation from the "Grub Street Journal" of 21st October 1731, which says
Wednesday October 20th.
"James Lidderdale, M.D., Physician to Lord Harrington, and one of the managers of the present State Lottery, fell with his horse as he was hunting last Saturday with the Royal Family in Windsor Park, by which misfortune he broke several ribs and beat one of his eyes almost out. D.P.", (Daily Post.)
Tradition also says he belonged to City Guilds and was concerned in the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Scheme (France).
He is said to have been a Physician to George II and the Grub Street quotation strengthens this claim though tradition says he was employed not as a Doctor but on confidential diplomatic journeys to the continent.
James and Frances had three children, John, Helen and James who died young.
Frances came from a family of some standing: probably she was a daughter of a merchant of London as James dedicated the usual Latin Treatise on a medical subject which Edinburgh University required from those who took the M.D. degree to Dominus Guilielm Haddock Mercator Londeniencis etc. probably his father-in-law. There was also an Admiral of that name. A doctor, James Lidderdale, was made Burgess and Guild brother of Edinburgh 29 September 1749.
The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. 8, page 277, May 1738, had a list of promotions, among them was - "Dr. Lidderdale, Physician to the Fleet under Admiral Haddock." Was it a temporary appointment for James by a relative or connection?
James's Will is in the Probate Record of 1762 in Somerset House. He is described as a Doctor in Physick, Nottingham.
Source: Robert Halliday Lidderdale, An Account of the Lowland Scots Family of Lidderdale, 1950.
James Lidderdale, one of his Majesty's Physicians in Scotland, was appointed Chief Physician to the Fleet under Sir J. Norris, March 1734. Gentleman's Magazine, March 1734 (http://www.Ancestry.com).
James Lidderdale, doctor, was appointed Physician to the Fleet, under Admiral Haddock, in May 1738. Gentleman's Magazine, May 1738 (http://www.Ancestry.com).
The portraits of Dr. James Lidderdale and Frances Haddock are currently in the possession of Mr. Harold Smith.
Source: communication from Dave Rusell-Smith
James Lidderdale's Last Will and Testament was written on February 7, 1757, and recorded on February 25, 1762, in London. The will names son John Lidderdale as the sole beneficiary.
Source: Public Record Office, The National Archives, United Kingdom (http://www.documentsonline.pro.gov.uk)
The Last Will and Testament of John Lidderdale, Jame's son, names "brother William Lidderdale" as one of his beneficiaries. There is currently no other mention or account of a William Lidderdale.
Marriage Licences Granted by the Bishop of London, 1705-6.
04 Feb 1705-6 James Lidderdale, Gent., of St Martin in Fields, Bachelor, 26, & Frances Haddocke, of St Michael le Quern, Spinster, 23; her father's consent; at Lincoln's Inn Chapel.