James Roberston Justice – Larger than Life


I really don’t know what to make of this character – James Robertson Justice.   He had a very successful film career, he was friends with Prince Philip and taught Prince Charles about falconry,  he had a brief spell in the diplomatic services – or did he ? fought in the Spanish Civil War, worked for Reuters and on and on. 

He had a very crowded life if it is all to be believed – but much of it can be checked to be true in fairness.

James Robertson Justice


He also raced cars at Brooklands before the War. He claimed to be born in Scotland – untrue   – and he added the ‘Robertson’ name just to add a sliver of authenticity to the claim.

In later years he could be seen at Silverstone - as an enthusiastic spectator at BRDC Silverstone meetings through the 1950s and ’60s.


He campaigned as a Labour candidate in a General Election but failed to get in.


However, lets look on the plus side for James Robertson Justice.  After his first film Vice Versa, he built up his career quite nicely – Scott of the Antarctic, The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, The Sword and the Rose and then Roby Roy The Highland Rogue – the last three for Walt Disney, then the Doctor series – and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and many in between – so that is a pretty good film career I would say.


The Story of Robin Hood 1952

ABOVE – as Little John for Walt Disney here with Elton Hayes and Michael Hordern.

That was a good role for James Roberston Justice and he did well in it – he certainly looked the part and fitted it like a glove.


The Story of Robin Hood 1952 A

ABOVE – as Little John for Walt Disney here with Richard Todd as Robin Hood – the Quarter Staff fight on the Bridge

Back to the films – There was also Land of the Pharoahs ( made in Hollywood) and Moby Dick plus Murder She Said with Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple.

James Robertson Justice at Home in Scotland

He seemed to be in his element wandering in the Scottish Highlands ABOVE

James Robertson Justice at Home in Scotland 2

There is no doubt that he loved Scotland and identified with his family roots there.  Here he is training Falcons ABOVE

James Robertson Justice at Home in Scotland 3

 ABOVE – At Home in his Highland Cottage at Spinningdale

James Robertson Justice at Home in Scotland 4

With the earnings he made from the film Doctor in the House (1954), James Robertson Justice bought a cottage in the Scottish Highlands village of Spinningdale – quite a bit further North of Inverness, Nr Bonar Bridge – so right up in the Highlands but close to a Loch.

After he died in 1975  His ashes were buried in a Scottish moor near his former home in  Spinningdale.

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