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Significant Scots
Robert Beatson


BEATSON, ROBERT, LL.D. an ingenious and useful author, was a native of Dysart, where he was born in 1742. Being educated with a view to the military profession, he obtained an ensigncy in 1756, at the commencement of the seven years’ war. He served next year in the expedition to the coast of France, and afterwards, as lieutenant, in the attack on Martinique, and the taking of Guadaloupe. In 1766, he retired on half-pay, and did not again seek to enter into active life till the breaking out of the American war. Having failed on this occasion to obtain an appointment suitable to his former services, he resolved to apply himself to another profession – that of literature – for which he had all along had considerable taste. His publications were, 1, "A Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and Ireland," 1 vol. 8 vo. 1786, of which a third edition in 3 volumes was published at a late period of his life. This work consists chiefly of accurate and most useful lists of all the ministers and other principal officers of the state, from the earliest time to the period of its publication. 2, "Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain, from 1727 to the present time," 3 vols. 8 vo. 1790; 2nd edition, 6 vols. 1804. 3, "View of the Memorable Action of the 27th of July, 1778," 8 vo. 1791. 4, "Essay on the Comparative Advantages of Vertical and Horizontal Windmills," 8vo. 1798. 5, "Chronological Register of both Houses of Parliament, from 1705 to 1807," 3 vols. 8 vo. 1807. Besides some communications to the board of agriculture, of which he was an honourary member. This laborious author enjoyed in his latter years the situation of barrack-master at Aberdeen, where, if we are not mistaken, he received his degree of LL.D. He died at Edinburgh, January 24, 1818.


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