January 26 (1831).—I have Skene and Mr. M'Culloch of Ardwell, to the relief of my spirits and the diminishing of my time. Mr. Laidlaw joined us at dinner.
Walter Scott and James Skene had been friends for about 35 years when this journal entry was made. It was toward the end of Walter's life. According to Lockhart, Scott sought out Skene through a mutual friend, to help in his acquisition of German subjects. Skene had lived several years of his youth in Saxony.
One of Skene's contributions to Scott's work was material for Quentin Durward, which he acquired during a trip to France in 1822. This material included notes and drawings of various landscapes, buildings, etc.