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Significant Scots
James Geddes


GEDDES, JAMES, an advocate of the Scottish bar, was born in the county of Tweeddale, about the year 1710, and being the son of a gentleman in good circumstances, was educated by tutors under his father’s roof. The progress which he made in the learned languages and philosophy, was considered extraordinary; and he fulfilled every promise at the university of Edinburgh, where he distinguished himself, particularly in mathematics, which he studied under the celebrated Maclaurie. Having prepared himself for the bar, he entered as an advocate, and soon acquired considerable reputation. His labours as a lawyer did not prevent him from devoting much time to his favourite studies – the poets, philosophers, and historians of antiquity; and in 1748, he published at Glasgow his "Essay on the Composition and Manner of Writing of the Ancients, particularly Plato." The year after this publication, he died of lingering consumption, much regretted, both on account of his learning – the fruits of which had not been fully given to the world – and for his manners and disposition which were in the highest degree amiable.

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