Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Scottish Nation

ANDERSON, a surname meaning literally the son of Andrew, but as held by families of Lowland origin, denoting more properly a son of St. Andrew, that is, a native Scotsman, as indicated by the Cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, in their shield. The Mid Lothian Andersons, to one branch of which belongs the family of the author of this work, have for crest a crosslet above the crescent; motto, "Gradatim." The crest evidently has reference to the crusades.

      The Gaelic sept of Anderson are said to be an offshoot of the old potent stem of Clan Anrias, from which spring the Mac Andrews, the Mac Gilanders, and the Gillanderses (Skene, vol. ii. p. 228). The chief of the sept is Anderson of Candacraig, Aberdeenshire.

ANDERSON, ADAM, author of the largest British compilation upon commercial history, was born about the year 1692. He left Scotland early in life, and obtained the situation of clerk in the South Sea House, London, in which he remained for forty years, and rose to be chief clerk of the Stock and New Annuities in that establishment. He retained that post till his death, which happened on the 10th January 1765. He was one of the trustees for the Settlement of Georgia, and also a member of the court of assistants of the Scots Corporation in London. In 1764, a year before his death, was published his elaborate work, entitled ‘An Historical and Chronological Deduction of the Origin of Commerce, from the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time; containing a History of the large Commercial Interests of the British Empire,’ &c. London, two volumes folio. An improved edition of this work was subsequently published by David M’Pherson, in four volumes. Mr. Anderson was twice married. By his first wife he had a daughter. His second wife survived him till 1781. He was her third husband.—Chalmers’ Biog. Dict.

ANDERSON, ALEXANDER, an eminent mathematician, was born at Aberdeen, near the close of the sixteenth century. Having at an early period of his life proceeded to Paris, he settled there as a private teacher or professor of mathematics. Between the years 1612 and 1619 he published various treatises on geometrical and algebraic science. His pure taste and skill in mathematical investigation pointed him out to the executors of the celebrated geometrician Vieta, Master of Requests at Paris, who died in 1603, as the fittest person to revise and publish his valuable MSS., which he did with learned comments, and neat demonstrations of propositions left imperfect. He subsequently produced a specimen of the application of geometrical analysis, distinguished for its clearness and classic elegance. His works are now scarce. They consist of six thin quarto volumes, including the edition of the works of Vieta. The date of his death, as of his birth, has not been ascertained. (Hutton’s Mathematical Dictionary.) The following is a list of his works:

Supplementum Apollonii Redivivi; sive Analysis Problematis ad Apollonii Doctrinam desiderati, a Marino Ghetaldo relicti. Huic subnexa est, variorum problematum practice. Paris, 1612, 4to.
Airiohoytae pro Zetetico Apolloniani Problematis a se jam pridem edito in Supplemento Apollonii Redivivi, &c. Paris, 1615, 4to.
Francisci Vietae de Equationum Recognitione et Emendatione Tractatus duo. Paris, 1615, 4to.
Vindiciae Archirmedis, sive Elenchus Cyclometriae Lausbergii. Paris, 1616.
Diacrisis Animadversionis in Franc. Vietam a Clem. Cyriaco. Paris, 1617.
Exercitationum Mathematicarum Decas prima. Paris, 1619.

ANDERSON, DAVID, of Finshaugh, a citizen and merchant of Aberdeen, the brother, or, as another account says, the cousin of the preceding, and uncle of George Jamesone the Scottish Vandyke, had likewise a strong turn for mathematics and mechanics, and from his being able to apply his knowledge to so many practical and useful purposes, he was popularly known at Aberdeen by the familiar name of Davie Do-a’-things. He removed a large rock which obstructed the entrance to Aberdeen harbour. He left three daughters, yet "his widow," we are informed by Mr. David Laing, in the information supplied to Allan Cunningham for his Memoir of Jamesone the painter, "was rich enough and generous enough to found and endow an hospital in Aberdeen for the maintenance and education of ten poor orphans." One of his daughters was married to the Rev. John Gregory, minister of Drumoak, and their son was the celebrated James Gregory, inventor of the reflecting telescope. From her is supposed to have been derived that taste for mathematical science which afterwards distinguished the Gregorys. A portrait of him by his nephew, the celebrated painter above referred to, is still extant in Aberdeen.

ANDERSON, ANDREW, a printer at Edinburgh, who, in the reign of Charles II., obtained a patent for printing everything in Scotland for 41 years, thus monopolizing the whole trade to himself—a thing that would not be tolerated in our more enlightened days. He was the son of George Anderson, who, in 1638, introduced the art of letter-press printing into Glasgow, having been invited from Edinburgh by the magistrates for that purpose, and it appears from the council records of the former city that he was to be allowed £100 for the liquidation of his expenses, "in transporting of his gear to that burgh," and in full of his bygone salaries from Whitsunday 1638 till Martinmas 1639. His son Andrew succeeded him in Glasgow, but afterwards removed to Edinburgh, and was made king’s printer for Scotland, in 1671. For many years after this period the art of printing remained in the very lowest state in Scotland, owing mainly to the exclusive nature of the royal grant to Anderson. This privilege was afterwards restricted to Bibles and Acts of parliament, which continued exclusively in the hands of the king’s printers for Scotland, till 1839, when the license was thrown open, under certain conditions and restrictions, to the printing trade generally.

ANDERSON, ANDREW, lieutenant-general in the East India Company’s service, founder of an institution at Elgin for the support of old age and the education of youth, was the son of a private soldier and a poor half-witted woman of the name of Marjory Gilzean, belonging to the town of El-gin, to whom he was privately married. Andrew, who was born about the year 1746, was brought up by his mother in a state of great misery, in what had been the sacristy of Elgin cathedral, where she led a wretched and lonely life, supported by charity; her infant’s bed being a hollow sculptured stone, which had formerly been used as a font. He was educated at the grammar school of that town as a pauper, doing all the drudgery of the school in return for his education. Afterwards he was bound apprentice to his father’s brother, a staymaker in the adjoining parish of St. Andrews Lhanbryd, whose harsh treatment induced him, while yet very young, to run away from home. Having contrived to reach London, he was taken in by a tailor, who afterwards employed him as his clerk. Being sent with a suit of clothes to an officer in the East India Company’s service, a countryman of his own, then about to proceed to India, that gentleman, pleased with his appearance, and satisfying himself that he had obtained a good education, advised him to enlist in his regiment, and offered to take him as his servant. Anderson accordingly went out as a drummer, and from his steadiness and good conduct, and singular facility in the acquirement of languages, soon obtained promotion. He had early made himself master of the Hindostanee, and was frequently employed as interpreter. His conduct at the taking of Seringapatam, in 1799, was honourably noticed at the time in the public papers. Having amassed a large fortune, he ultimately retired with the rank of lieutenant-general in the Bombay army. In 1811 he returned to Elgin, and resided for several summers there, or in the neighbourhood, passing the winter in London, where, on the 23d November 1815, he executed a trust-disposition and deed of settlement, assigning his whole property, after the payment of a few minor legacies, for the purposes of founding and endowing an Hospital, a School of Industry, and a Free School at Elgin, to be called the Elgin Institution for the support of old age and education of youth. He died in London on the 16th of December 1824.

      The funds left by General Anderson amounted to £70,000, and the Elgin Institution, which stands at the east end of Elgin, was founded in 1832, for the maintenance of aged men and women, and the maintenance and education of poor or orphan boys and girls. The philanthropic and splendid monument which he may be said to have thus raised to his own memory is a beautiful and appropriate piece of architecture. Built of native sandstone, it is a quadrangular structure of two stories, surmounted by a circular tower and dome. The institution for the children contains a school of industry. The children are apprenticed also to some trade or useful occupation. The house governor and teacher of the school of industry has a salary of £55 per annum, with board and lodging in the institution. A public school, on the Lancasterian system, is attached to the institution as a free school, for the education of male and female children whose parents, though in narrow circumstances, are still able to maintain and clothe them.   ADVANCE \d 5

ANDERSON, JAMES, the author of the ‘Diplomata Scotiae,’ was the son of the Rev. Patrick Anderson, one of the persecuted presbyterian ministers, who at the Restoration was ejected from his Living and afterwards suffered imprisonment in the Bass, and was born at Edinburgh, August 5, 1662, and graduated at the university there. It appears from the registers of the university of Edinburgh that he was a student under Mr. William Paterson, the professor of philosophy in 1667, and took his degree in the class of Mr. James Wishart, on the 27th of May 1680. Having chosen the law for his profession, he served an apprenticeship with Sir Hugh Paterson of Bannockburn, writer to the signet, and on the 6th of June 1691 he was admitted a member of that society. In 1704, an English lawyer, of the name of Atwood, having published a pamphlet claiming for England a direct superiority over Scotland, Mr. Anderson was led to publish an ‘Historical Essay, showing that the Crown and Kingdom of Scotland is imperial and independent,’ which appeared in 1705. This work procured for him not only a reward, but the thanks of the Scottish parliament, which ordered Atwood’s pamphlet as well as the Historia Anglo-Scotica of Drake, to be burnt by the common hangman. Having projected a series of engravings of fac-similes of the charters and seals, medals and coins, of the Scottish monarchs from the earliest times, in November 1706, he obtained from the Scottish parliament a vote of three hundred pounds sterling towards this object. By this aid he was enabled to make great progress in his arduous work; but before March 1707 he had not only expended this sum, but five hundred and ninety pounds sterling of his own on the undertaking, and was forced again to apply to parliament, now about to expire. A committee reported the facts, and the parliament, while they approved of his conduct, voted him an additional grant of one thousand and fifty pounds sterling; and recommended him to the queen ‘as a person meriting her gracious favour.’ One of the last acts of the union parliament was ‘a recommendation in favour of Mr. James Anderson.’ This induced him to remove to London, to superintend the progress of the work, though the money is said never to have been paid. In June 1715 he was appointed postmaster-general for Scotland, a situation which he held only for two years, having been superseded on the 29th of November 1717, for some cause which does not appear, by Sir John Inglis of Cramond. When he lost this appointment he issued proposals for publishing his ‘Diplomata.’ The following advertisement appeared in Watson’s Scots Courant of the 25th of February 1718: "Proposals being printed for publishing a book, which will consist of above one hundred copperplates, containing the ancient charters and seals of the kings of Scotland, and the alphabets and abbreviations made use of in ancient writings, collected pursuant to an order of the parliament of Scotland, by Mr. Anderson, writer to the signet: any who encourage that book may have copies of the proposals at Mr. Anderson’s house above the general post office, Edinburgh, and may also see specimens of the work at any time between the hours of two and five in the afternoon." In 1727 appeared the first and second volumes of his ‘Collections relating to the History of Mary Queen of Scotland;’ to which he soon after added two more volumes, 4to. This work was intended as a counter publication to Jebb’s Vita et Rebus Gestis Mariae Scotorum Reginae, published at London, in 1725, in two folio volumes, which represented Mary and her cause in a favourable light. In preparing his work on Queen Mary, Mr. Anderson, through the influence of the Duke of Devonshire, obtained admission to the state paper office, " whence," says Chalmers, "he drew some documents that lost their efficacy from suspicions of his candour." Mr. Chalmers, in his life of Ruddiman, makes the following very just remark: "That such an antiquary as Anderson is represented to have been should entitle Mary, queen of Scotland, is astonishing, when the charters and seals of his own Diplomata would have shown him that she was Scotorum Regina, as her predecessors had been Scotorum Reges. Ruddiman, with his usual acuteness, remarks, ‘That it is a sure indication of forgery when an old charter speaks of the king as Scotiae Rex.’" (Chalmers’ Ruddiman, p. 156, note, ed. 1794.) Anderson was one of a society of the critics of Edinburgh, which was formed for publishing a correct edition of Buchanan’s works, with the declared aim of vindicating " that incomparably learned and pious author from the calumnies of Mr. Thomas Ruddiman." It does not appear that they ever carried their design into execution, farther than preparing a series of "Notts" upon the annotations of Ruddiman, which are still in manuscript. He died at London of an apoplectic stroke, on the 2d of April 1728, at the age of sixty-six, leaving unfinished his great work, on which he had been engaged for so many years. He had married in his youth a daughter of John Ellis of Elliston, an advocate in Edinburgh, by whom he had several sons, who survived him, and a daughter Margaret who married George Crawford, the author of the Peerage. One of his sons, Patrick Anderson, was comptroller of the stamps at Edinburgh. In his latter years, Anderson found himself in embarrassed circumstances, from the poverty which had gradually fallen upon him from his ill-directed projects, arising from his want of prudence and over sanguine temperament. In his distress he pledged his ancient charters and his copperplates to Thomas Paterson of Conduit Street, London, a friend who had patronized his labours and relieved his necessities. In 1729 the plates were sold by auction, and brought £530. It was at the request of Mr. Paterson that Ruddiman was induced to finish what Anderson with less erudition and diligence had begun. At last in 1739, eleven years after his death, the work was published in one volume folio, under the title of ‘Selectus Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotia Thesaurus,’ with an elaborate preface by Thomas Ruddiman. It was printed, in one large folio volume, by Thomas and Walter Ruddiman, for Thomas Paterson in Conduit Street, Andrew Millar in the Strand, London, and Gawin Hamilton at Edinburgh. The following is a list of Anderson’s works:



An Historical Essay, showing that the Crown of Scotland is Imperial and Independent, in answer to Mr. Atwood. Edin. 1705, 8vo.

Collections relating to the History of Mary Queen of Scotland. Edin. 1727—28, 4 vols. 4to.

Selectus Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotiae Thesaurus: de Mandato Parliamenti in subjiciuntur ad faciliorum Rei Antiquariae cognitionem Characteres et Abbreviaturae, in dons partes distributns: 1. Syllogert complectuntur veterum diplomatum, sive Cliartarum regum et procerum Scotiae, una cum eorum Sigillis, a Duncano II. ad Jacobum I. i. e. ab anno 1094 ad 1412. 2. Continet Nnrnismata turn aurea qnam argentea singulorum Scotiae regum ab Alexandro I. ad supra dictam regnorum coalitionem perpetna serie deducta Quae operi consummando deerant, supplevit, et prefatione, Tabularum explicatione, aliisque Appendicibus; rem Scotiae diplomaticam numinariam, et genealogicam baud parum illustran— tionibus, auxit et locupletavit Thomas Ruddimanus. Edin. 1739, fol. This splendid work is enriched with fac-sirniles of charters, &c. beautifully engraved by Sturt. The original price was 4 guineas common paper, and 6 fine. Mr. Ruddiman’s Introduction was afterwards translated, and published by itself. Edin. 1773, 12mo. It is a work of extreme rarity, and great value. In the fifth division it exhibits the characters and abbreviations used in ancient MSS.



ANDERSON, JAMES, D.D., the brother of Adam Anderson, author of the Commercial History, whose life has been previously given, was many years minister of the Scotch church, in Swallow street, Piccadilly, London. He wrote a treatise on ‘The Constitutions of the Free Masons,’ being the chaplain of that body in London; and an elaborate folio volume, entitled ‘Royal Genealogies, or the Genealogical Tables of Emperors, Kings, and Princes, from Adam to these Times,’ London, 1732. Neither the date of his birth nor of his death is known.

ANDERSON, JAMES, LL.D., an eminent writer, the son of a farmer, was born at Hermiston, near Edinburgh, in 1789. His ancestors were farmers, and for many generations had occupied the same land. His parents died when he was very young, and at the age of fifteen he entered upon the management of the farm which they had possessed. Early perceiving the great advantage of a scientific acquaintance with agriculture, he attended the chemistry class of Dr. Cullen, in the university of Edinburgh, studying at the same time several collateral branches of science. He adopted a number of improvements on his farm, and was among the first to use the small two horse plough on its introduction into Scotland. In the midst of his agricultural labours, so great was his desire for knowledge and so unwearied his application, that he contrived to acquire a considerable stock of general information. In 1771, under the signature of Agricola, he contributed to Ruddiman’s Edinburgh Weekly Magazine a series of ‘Essays on Planting,’ which in 1777 were collected into a volume. In 1773 he furnished the article Monsoon to the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in which he predicted the failure of Captain Cook’s first expedition in search of a southern polar continent. In 1776 appeared his Essay on Chimneys.

      Previous to the year 1777, Mr. Anderson had removed to a large uncultivated farm of 1,300 acres, named Monkhill, which he rented in Aberdeen-shire, and which, by his skill and care, he brought into excellent condition. In that year appeared ‘Observations on the Means of Exciting a Spirit of National Industry,’ with regard to agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and fisheries; and, besides his Essays on Planting, various pamphlets on agricultural subjects, which raised his reputation very high as a practical agriculturist. In 1780, the university of Aberdeen conferred on him the degree of LL.D. He had married in 1768, Miss Seton of Mounie; by whom he had thirteen children; and with the twofold object of educating his family, and enjoying literary society, in 1783 he went to reside in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. His place of residence was situated within the parish of Leith, and when the magistrates and heritors attempted to levy an assessment upon householders for the maintenance of the poor, he brought the measure before the court of session, and succeeded in persuading the judges that the laws of Scotland did not authorise the establishment of a poor’s rate. He considered himself as having rendered an essential service to his country, by his resistance in this case, and several editions of his papers during the process, though never published, were printed for the use of his friends. Having, in a tract privately circulated, projected the establishment of the North British Fisheries, he was requested by the Lords of the Treasury in 1784 to survey the western coast of Scotland, and in 1785 he published the result of his inquiries, under the title of ‘An Account of the present state of the Hebrides and Western Coast of Scotland, being the Substance of a Report to the Lords of the Treasury.’ In the Report of a committee appointed May 11, 1785, to inquire into the state of the British fisheries, very honourable mention is made of his labours. On the 22d December 1790 he commenced a weekly publication of a literary and scientific nature, called ‘The Bee,’ which continued till the 1st January 1794. He wrote a great part of the work himself, and be-sides many of the principal papers without signature, all those which were signed Senex, Alcibiades, and Timothy Hairbrain, were from his pen.

      When the Board of agriculture applied to parliament for a reward to Mr. Elkington, on account of his mode of draining by boring, Dr. Anderson addressed several letters to the president of that Board. These letters were published, and though the language he used in them was considered as rather intemperate, yet it afterwards appeared that his assertions were well founded, and that Elkington’s plan contained nothing but what had been fully explained by Dr. Anderson more than twenty years before in his Agricultural Essays. About this time, also, he read an Essay on Moss before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which was soon after published. In it he first advanced the very singular idea that moss, contrary to the mode of all other plants, vegetates below, while its upper stratum is undergoing putrefaction by exposure to the air.

      About the year 1797 he removed with his family to London, and for several years wrote the agricultural articles in the Monthly Review. From 1799 to 1802 he conducted another journal called ‘Recreations in Agriculture, Natural History, Arts, and Miscellaneous Literature,’ which ended with the sixth volume. Although the work contains a number of communications from others, the greater part of it was written by himself. It met with the greatest encouragement from the public, but the irregularity of his printers and booksellers caused him to discontinue it. The thirty-seventh number of his ‘Recreations’ was his last publication in March 1802. After this period he published nothing more, except his correspondence with General Washington and a pamphlet on scarcity, but devoted himself almost entirely to the relaxation of a quiet life, and particularly to the cultivation of his garden at Isleworth; in which he had constructed a model of his patent hothouse, to act by the rays of the sun, without the application of artificial heat. With this he amused himself by making experiments, in order to ascertain what degree of heat and moisture was most salutary to different plants. As an instance of his unwearied attention to every department of rural economy, may be mentioned a discovery which he made about this time, respecting the most effectual mode of exterminating wasps. Having observed that in the district where he resided these insects were very destructive to every species of fruit, he resolved to study their natural history. He soon ascertained, by his inquiries and observations, that the whole hive, like that of bees, was propagated from one female or queen, and that the whole race, except a few queens, perished during winter, and he naturally concluded that to destroy the queens, in the months of May and June, before they began to drop their eggs, was the surest way of diminishing their number. With this view he even procured an association to be formed, which circulated handbills with directions, and offered a reward for every queen wasp that should be brought in, within a specified period.

      Dr. Anderson died at Westham, near London, on 15th October 1808, of a gradual decline. Having been some time a widower, in 1801 he had married a second wife, a lady belonging to Isleworth, who survived him; as did also five sons and a daughter. In his younger days, and while engaged in the active pursuits of agriculture, Dr. Anderson was remarkably handsome in his person, of middle stature, and of robust constitution. Extremely moderate in his living, the country exercise animated his countenance with the glow of health; but the overstrained exertion of his mental powers afterwards impaired his strength, ultimately wasted his faculties, and brought on premature old age. He possessed a very independent mind, and his manners were agreeable and unconstrained. In the relative duties of a husband and a father, he displayed the greatest prudence and affection; and in the social circle he was distinguished by his humorous pleasantry, and abounded in anecdote. In conversation he entered with zeal and spirit into any favourite subject, and his remarks were generally full of interest. He was among the first of that long list of practical writers of which the present century has produced so many who directed the public attention to the improvement of agriculture, and there was no agricultural subject of which he treated without throwing upon it new light. Besides the works mentioned, he wrote also many papers in the periodicals, and an Account of Ancient Fortifications in the Highlands, which was read to the Society of Scottish Antiquaries. —Scots Mag. 1809.—Edin. Ency.

The following is a list of his works:



A Practical Treatise on Chimneys; containing full directions for constructing them in all cases, so as to draw well, and for removing Smoke in houses. Lond. 1776, 12mo.

Free Thoughts on the American Contest. Edin. 1776, 8vo.

Essays relating to Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Edin. 1775, 8vo. 1777, 8vo. Lond. 1796, 3 vols. 8vo. Fifth edit. with additions and corrections. Lond. 1800, 3 vols. 8vo.

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Planting and Training Timber Trees, by Agricola. Edin. 1777, 8vo.

Observations on the Means of exciting a Spirit of National Industry, chiefly intended to promote the Agriculture, Commerce, Fisheries, and Manufactures of Scotland. Edin. 1777, 4to.

An Inquiry into the Nature of the Corn Laws, with a view to the new Corn Bill proposed for Scotland. Edin. 1777, 8vo.

An Enquiry into the Causes that have hitherto retarded the advancement of Agriculture in Europe, with Hints for removing the circumstances that have chiefly obstructed its progress. Edin. 1779, 4to.

The Interest of Great Britain with regard to her American Colonies considered. 1782, 8vo.

The True Interest of Great Britain considered, or a Pro. posal for establishing the Northern British Fisheries. 1783, 12mo.

An Account of the present State of the Hebrides, and Western Coasts of Scotland, with Hints for encouraging the Fisheries, and promoting other Improvements in these countries; being the Substance of a Report to the Lords of the Treasury. Edin. 1785, 8vo, illustrated with a geographical map.

Observations on Slavery, particularly with a view to its effects on the British Colonies in the West Indies. Manchester, 1789, 4to.

Papers drawn up by him and Sir John Sinclair, in reference to a Report by a Committee of the Highland Society on Shetland Wool. 1790, 8vo.

The Bee, consisting of Essays Philosophical and Miscellaneous. Edin. 1791—94, 6 vols. 8vo.

Observations on the Effects of Coal Duty upon the remote and thinly peopled coasts of Britain. Edin. 1792, 8vo.

Thoughts on the Privileges and Power of Juries, with Observations on the present State of the Country with regard to Credit. Edin. 1793, 8vo.

Remarks on the Poor Law in Scotland. Edin. 1793, 4to.

A Practical Treatise on Peat Moss, considered as in its natural state fitted for affording fuel, or as susceptible of being converted into mould, capable of yielding abundant crops of useful produce, with full directions for converting and cultivating it as a soil. Edin. 1794, 8vo.

A General View of the Agriculture and Rural Economy of the County of Aberdeen, with Observations on the means of its improvement. Chiefly drawn up for the Board of Agriculture, in two parts. Edin. 1794, 8vo.

An Account of the different kinds of Sheep found in the Russian dominions, and among the Tartar Hordes of Asia, by Dr. Pallas, illustrated with six plates, to which are added five appendixes, tending to illustrate the natural and economical history of sheep, and other domestic animals. Edin. 1794, 8vo.

On an Universal Character, in two letters to Edward Home, Esq. Edin. 1795, 8vo.

A Practical Treatise on Draining Bogs and Swampy Grounds, with cursory remarks on the originality of Elkington’s mode of draining. Also disquisitions concerning the different breeds of sheep and other domestic animals, being the principal additions made in the fourth edition of his Essays on Agriculture. Lond. 1794, 1798, 8vo.

Recreations in Agriculture, Natural History, Arts, and Miscellaneous Literature. Lond. 1799—1802, 6 vols. 8vo.

Selections from his Correspondence with General Washington, in which the causes of the present scarcity are fully investigated. Lond. 1800, 8vo.

A Calm Investigation of the Circumstances that have led to the present scarcity of Grain in Britain; suggesting the means of alleviating that evil, and of preventing the recurrence of such a calamity in future. Lond. 1801, 8vo.

A Description of a patent Hot-house, which operates chiefly by the heat of the Sun, and other subjects; without the aid of Flues, or Tan-bark, or Steam, for the purpose of heating it, &c. Lond. 1804, 12mo.

The Antiquity of Woollen Manufactures in England.— Gents. Mag. August 1778, and other papers in that work.

A Disquisition on Wool-bearing Animals. American Trans. iv. 149. 1799.

On Cast Iron. Trans. Ed. B. Soc. i. 26. 1788.

A further Description of ancient Fortifications in the North of Scotland. Archaeol. vi. 87. 1782.



ANDERSON, JOHN, M. A., author of the celebrated Defence of Presbyterianism, was born in the reign of Charles the Second, but the precise year has not been ascertained. All that is known of his early life is, that, after receiving a university education, he was for some time the preceptor of the celebrated John duke of Argyle and Greenwich; and that he subsequently resided for twenty-five years in Edinburgh, where he kept a school. Having been educated for the church, he was, about the beginning of the eighteenth century, minister of the parish of Dumbarton, and afterwards was transported to Glasgow. The general use of the English liturgy in the Episcopalian congregations, as we learn from Wodrow’s correspondence, was exciting, about this period, the utmost alarm in the minds of the Presbyterian clergy and people, and a violent controversy on the subject was carried on for some time between the ministers of the rival churches. Into this controversy Mr. Anderson entered with much zeal. The first of his publications known is styled ‘A Dialogue between a Curat and a Countreyman concerning the English Service, or Common Prayer Book of England,’ 4to, printed at Glasgow about 1710. In this work, in opposition to the statements in Sage’s ‘Fundamental Charter of Presbytery Examined,’ he proved that the liturgy which had been used by the first Scottish reformers for at least seven years after the overthrow of popery, was not the English liturgy, but that used by the English church at Geneva, since known by the name of John Knox’s liturgy, or the old Scottish liturgy. In 1711 appeared a ‘Second Dialogue,’ in which he set himself to oppose the sentiments of South, Hammond, Beveridge, and Burnet. These works were followed by ‘A Letter from a Countreyman to a Curat,’ which called forth several answers, particularly one by Robert Calder, an Episcopalian clergyman, the friend of Dr. Archibald Pitcairn, to which he speedily replied in a pamphlet entitled ‘Curat Calder Whipt.’ Soon after he published ‘A Sermon preached at Ayr, at the opening of the Synod, on April 1, 1712.’ In 1714 appeared his famous work, under the title of ‘A Defence of the Church Government, Faith, Worship, and Spirit of the Presbyterians, in Answer to a Book entitled "An Apology for Mr. Thomas Rhind,"’ &c., 4to. In 1717 he received a call from the congregation of the NorthWest church, Glasgow, but was not settled there till 1720, after his case had been before both the synod and the Assembly, some of the members of his presbytery having objected to his removal. His colleagues, it seems, had taken offence at a letter addressed by him to ‘Walter Stewart of Pardonan, published by him in 1717, in which he says, "I confess I was under a great temptation of being eager for a settlement in Glasgow, for what minister would not be fond of a larger stipend and a double charge ?" In the latter year (1720) he published, in 12mo, six ‘Letters upon the Overtures concerning Kirk Sessions and Presbyteries,’ which, like all his controversial writings, abound in curious historical information, interspersed with severe satirical remark. He wrote several other political and theological tracts besides those mentioned, now gone into oblivion. The precise year of his death is not known, but as his successor was appointed in 1723, his decease must have taken place before that year. His grandson, Professor Anderson, the founder of the Andersonian Institution, Glasgow, caused the following memorial to his memory to be inscribed upon the family tombstone erected over his grave, on the front of the North-West church, Glasgow:

"Near this place ly the remains of the Rev. John Anderson, who was preceptor to the famous John Duke of Argyle and Greenwich, and minister of the gospel in Dumbarton in the beginning of the eighteenth century, and in this church in 1720. He was the author of ‘The Defence of the Church Government, Faith, Worship, and Spirit of the Presbyterians,’ and of several other ecclesiastical and political tracts. As a pious minister and an eloquent preacher, a defender of civil and religious liberty, and a man of wit and learning, he was much esteemed; he lived in the reign of Charles II., James II., William III., Anne, and George I. Such times, and such a man, forget not, reader, while thy country, liberty, and religion are dear to thee."— Wodrow’s History.


ANDERSON, JOHN, F.R.S., founder of the Andersonian Institution, Glasgow, and grandson of the subject of the preceding article, was the eldest son of the Rev. James Anderson, minister of Roseneath, Dumbartonshire, in the manse of which parish he was born in the year 1726. His father died when he was yet young, and he went to live at Stirling with his aunt, Mrs. Turner, widow of one of the ministers of the High church of that town, where he received the first part of his education. At the age of twenty he was one of the officers of the Burgher corps of Stirling, raised for the defence of the town against the forces of the Pretender, and the carabine he carried on that occasion is preserved in the Museum of the university founded by him. He afterwards studied at the college of Glasgow. In 1756 he was appointed professor of oriental languages in that university. In 1760 he was removed to the chair of natural philosophy. Embued with an ardent zeal for the diffusion of useful knowledge, he instituted a class, in addition to his usual one, for the instruction of the working classes and others, who were unable to attend the regular course of academical study, which he continued to teach twice a-week, during session, till his death. In 1786 he published ‘Institutes of Physics,’ which in ten years went through five editions. Having, like many other good men, hailed the first burst of the French Revolution in 1789, as calculated to promote the cause of liberty, he went to Paris in 1791 with the model of a gun he had invented, the peculiar advantage of which consisted in the recoil being stopped by the condensation of common air within the body of the carriage. To this ingenious invention he had unsuccessfully endeavoured to obtain the attention of our own government. This model he presented to the national convention, who hung it up in their hall, with the superscription, " The Gift of Science to Liberty !" A six-pounder being made from his model, he tried numerous experiments with it, in presence, among others, of the celebrated Paul Jones, then in Paris, who expressed his approbation of the new species of gun. While Professor Anderson remained in the capital of France, he witnessed many of those stirring and momentous scenes, which at that period attracted the notice of all Europe, and he was one of those who, on the 14th July, from the top of the altar of liberty, sung Te Deum with the bishop of Paris, when the ill-fated Louis XVI. took the oath to the Constitution! An expedient of his for furnishing the people of Germany with French newspapers and manifestoes, after the emperor Leopold had drawn a cordon of troops round the frontiers, to prevent their introduction, was tried, and found very useful. It consisted of small balloons of paper, varnished with boiled oil, and filled with inflammable air, and the newspapers being tied to them, they were sent off when the wind was favourable, and picked up by the people. A small flag which these paper balloons carried, bore an inscription in German to the following purport

"O’er hills and dales and lines of hostile troops, I float majestic,
Bearing the laws of God and Nature to oppressed men,
And bidding them with arms their rights maintain."

On his return to Glasgow, Professor Anderson resumed his college duties with his usual fervour. He died on the 13th January 1796, in the 70th year of his age, and 41st of his professorship. By his will, dated 7th May 1795, he bequeathed all his money and effects for the establishment at Glasgow of an institution, to be called Anderson’s University, for the education of the unacademical classes.

      The institution was endowed by the founder with a valuable philosophical apparatus, museum, and library, valued at three thousand pounds sterling; and it was incorporated by charter from the  magistrates and council of Glasgow, on the 9th June following the testator’s death. The plan of Professor Anderson contemplated four colleges, for arts, medicine, law, and theology, each college to consist of nine professors, the senior professor being president or dean, but the funds not allowing of this at the outset, the managers wisely began on a small scale, and the institution has gradually grown in influence and importance, and is now in a state more corresponding with the original design of the founder. The first teacher was Dr. Thomas Garnet, professor of natural philosophy, and author of a ‘Tour through the Highlands,’ as well as various scientific works, who commenced on 21st September 1796, by reading in the Trades’ Hall, Glasgow, popular and scientific lectures on natural philosophy and chemistry, addressed to persons of both sexes, and illustrated by experiments. With the view that the institution should be permanently established the trustees purchased, in 1798, extensive buildings in John Street, and in the same year a professor of mathematics and geography was appointed. After a successful period of tuition of four years, Dr. Garnet, on the foundation of the Royal Institution of Great Britain in 1800, was chosen its first professor of chemistry, and accordingly removed to London in October of that year, but was obliged to resign the situation on account of ill health, and died in 1802, aged 36. He was succeeded in Anderson’s Institution, Glasgow, by the celebrated Dr. George Birkbeck, the founder of Mechanic’s Institutes, who, at the age of twenty-one, was appointed professor of natural history, and in addition to what had formerly been taught, introduced a familiar system of instruction, which he conducted gratis, chiefly for the benefit of operatives. One of the great benefits of this institution from the commencement, indeed, has been that instruction is communicated to students of all classes, divested of those technicalities by which it is frequently overlaid and obscured by educational institutions of greater name. Dr. Birkbeck resigned in August 1804, and was succeeded in the following month by Dr. Andrew Ure, the well-known chemist. Dr. Ure continued to discharge the duties of his office with great success for the long period of twenty-five years, when he removed to London. In the meantime the institution had grown in public estimation, and several professors had been appointed. The original buildings too had become insufficient, and the trustees finally purchased from the city the Grammar school buildings, situated in George Street, which, with extensive additions and alterations, were rendered fit for a complete college establishment, containing halls for the professors, the museum, library, &c. The new buildings were opened in November 1828, and continue to be used with marked success. There are now thirteen professors, and the subjects taught are natural philosophy, chemistry, natural history, logic and ethics, mathematics and geography, oriental languages, drawing and painting, anatomy, theory and practice of medicine, surgery, materia medica, medical jurisprudence, veterinary medicine, and German and modern literature. The Institution, or as it is called, the Andersonian University, is placed under the inspection of the Lord Provost and other officials as ordinary visitors, but it is more immediately superintended by eighty-one trustees, who are elected by ballot, and remain in office for life, unless disqualified by non-attendance. They are chosen from nine classes of citizens, namely, tradesmen, agriculturists, artists, manufacturers, physicians and surgeons, lawyers, divines, philosophers, and kinsmen or namesakes. Nine of their number are annually elected by the trustees as managers of the establishment for the year, and they in turn elect from their number, by ballot, the president, secretary, and treasurer.

A posthumous work of Professor Anderson, entitled ‘Observations on Roman Antiquities discovered between the Forth and the Clyde,’ was published at Edinburgh in 1800.— Glasgow Mechanic's Magazine, 1825. — Cleland’s Annals of Glasgow.

ANDERSON, JOHN, historian of the Hamiltons, was born June 6, 1789, at Gilmerton House, in the county of Mid-Lothian. He was the eldest son of James Anderson, supervisor of excise, Oban, whose father, William Anderson, was a farmer at Upper Liberton, and a burgess and guild-brother of the city of Edinburgh. His mother was Elizabeth, daughter of John Williams, the well-known author of the 'Mineral Kingdom,’ who then resided at Gilmerton. After receiving the proper education, and attending the university of Edinburgh, he was in 1813 admitted a licentiate of the Edinburgh Royal College of Surgeons, and had scarcely passed his college examinations, when he was appointed, by the Marquis of Douglas, afterwards, on the death of his father in 1819, Duke of Hamilton, first Surgeon of the Royal Lanarkshire Militia, and he retained that situation, and the patronage and confidence of his grace, until his death. He settled at Hamilton, and obtained an extensive practice. In 1825, he published, in quarto, a large and elaborate work, entitled ‘Historical and Genealogical Memoirs of the House of Hamilton,’ to which, in 1827, he added a supplement. For more than two years previous to his death, he had been engaged collecting materials for a Statistical Account of Lanarkshire; and he also contemplated writing a Genealogical History of the Robertsons of Struan. In the peculiar line of literature which he selected for himself, he was distinguished by sound and pertinent information, deep research, untiring perseverance, and a ready and perspicuous style. He died 24th December 1832, his last illness being caused by extraordinary fatigue in attending patients under the cholera morbus. He was (says a writer in the New Monthly Magazine) universally known in the neighbourhood of his residence; and from his unassuming manners, his social disposition, and extensive benevolence, was as generally respected. His maternal grandfather, John Williams, F.S.A., Scotland, was, though a native of Wales, long connected with Scotland, and in his lifetime eminent both as an antiquarian and a geologist. He was a mineral surveyor by profession, and on his first coming to Scotland he took the coal-mines of Brora, in the parish of Golspie, from the Earl of Sutherland, and a farm near them named Waterford. His daughter, Elizabeth, the mother of Dr. Anderson, (and of the author of the ‘Scottish Nation,') was born at Brora, 13th April 1765, just a fortnight before the late Duchess-Countess of Sutherland. The farm proved a bad speculation, as Mr. Williams lost a large sum of money in improving it to no purpose. After he had put up an engine at the coal-mine, the latter took fire, by which he lost a considerable sum, indeed nearly all that he possessed. At that time the earl and countess were at Bath, on account of the health of the earl, who died there. The young countess, their daughter, on succeeding to the Sutherland title and estates, was an infant scarcely a year old. The factor, a Mr. Campbell Combie, was a very harsh and arbitrary person, and would not do anything for Mr. Williams. He refused even to entertain his claim either for the loss he had sustained by the coal-mines, or for the money he had expended in improvements on the farm. Fortunately, at this juncture Mr. Williams was appointed by government one of the persons to survey the forfeited estates in Scotland, and in this employment he was engaged for eighteen months. He afterwards took a coal - mine at West Calder, and subsequently went to Gilmerton about 1775. In 1777 he published ‘An Account of some remarkable ancient Ruins lately discovered in the Highlands and Northern parts of Scotland,’ being the vitrified forts found in various parts of the country. He was one of the first to direct attention to these remains, and his theory regarding them has generally been adopted by subsequent writers on the subject. In 1789 appeared, in 2 vols. 8vo., his most celebrated work, ‘The Natural History of the Mineral Kingdom.’ Of this last work he sent a copy to George the Third, one to the unfortunate Louis the Sixteenth of France, and one to the Empress Catherine of Russia. The two former never acknowledged receipt. The Empress was the only one of these potentates who took any notice of the gift. Whatever was her character otherwise, it is worthy of note that she patronized literary and scientific men, and invited them to her court. Mr. Williams received a communication from St. Petersburg, requesting him to proceed to Russia, to survey for minerals in that empire, and he accordingly left Scotland for that purpose about the end of 1792, or early in 1793. On his way home, after fulfilling his mission, he was seized with a fever and died at Verona in Italy, May 29, 1795. He was one of the twelve original members of the Scotch Antiquarian Society, and his portrait is in that Institution in Edinburgh. In the Transactions of that society there appeared from his pen, a paper entitled ‘A Plan for a Royal Forest of Oak in the Highlands of Scotland.’ An edition of ‘the Mineral Kingdom,’ edited by a Dr. Millar of Edinburgh was published in 1810, containing a Life of Mr. Williams, which was incorrect in many respects, and not sanctioned by his family.


ANDERSON, JOHN, an enterprising character, founder of the town of Fermoy, in Ireland, son of David Anderson of Portland, was born in lowly circumstances in the West of Scotland. While very young he learned to read and write, and having made a few pounds in some humble employment, he settled in Glasgow about 1784. By a speculation in herrings he acquired five hundred pounds, and with this sum he went to Cork, and became an export merchant, dealing in provisions, the staple trade of the place. In a few years he realized twenty-five thousand pounds. This sum he laid out in the purchase of four-sixths of the Fermoy estate, in the province of Munster. With characteristic energy he resolved to make a town at Fermoy, which at that period was no more than a dirty hamlet, consisting of a few hovels, and a carman’s public house, at the end of a narrow old bridge. He began by building a good hotel, and next erected a few houses, and a square. At his own expense he rebuilt the ruinous bridge over the Blackwater, on which the town is situated. Having learned that government intended to erect large barracks in Munster, he offered, in 1797, a most eligible site for them, rent free. The offer was accepted, and two very large and handsome barracks were built. He next erected a theatre, and a handsome residence for himself. He invited various families, having more or less capital, to settle at Fermoy, and placed himself at the head of the little community. As his manners were pleasing, his society was courted by the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood. He was never ashamed of his origin, and often spoke of his success in the world with laudable pride. On one occasion, in the very height of his prosperity, he was entertaining a large company at his residence in Fermoy. Amongst the party were the late Earls of Kingston and Shannon, and Lord Rivers-dale. The conversation turned on their host’s great success in life, and Lord Kingston asked him to what he chiefly attributed it. "To education, my lord," he replied, "every child in Scotland can easily get the means of learning to read and write. When I was a little boy my parents sent me to school every day, and I had to walk three miles to the village school. Many a cold walk I had in the bitter winter mornings; and I assure you, my lords," he added, smiling, "that shoes and stockings were extremely scarce in those days." Still continuing his attention to business, he established a bank, an agricultural society, and a mail coach company. The first coach which ran between Cork and Dublin was set a-going by him. He also built a large schoolhouse and a military college; the latter afterwards became a public school. For the erection of a Protestant church he gave three thousand pounds, and five hundred pounds and a site rent free for a Catholic chapel. The government offered him a baronetcy, which he declined. It was, however, conferred, in 1813, by George IV., when Prince Regent, upon his son, Sir James Caleb Anderson, the well-known experimentalist in steam-coaching, as a mark of his Royal Highness’s gracious approbation of the services rendered to Ireland by his father. Having embarked in some dangerous speculations, Mr. Anderson, in his latter years, sustained great reverses. In Welsh mining alone he lost £30,000. On the sale of the Barryrnore estates, he was a heavy purchaser, by which, owing to the fall in the price of land in Ireland, after the close of the war, he became a considerable loser ; while his banking operations were affected by the changes in the currency. He left behind him, however, a noble monument in the handsome town of Fermoy, which has now 7,000 inhabitants. Mr. Madden, in his ‘Revelations of Ireland,’ has devoted a chapter to the enterprise of this "Scotchman in Munster," to which we are mainly indebted for the materials of this sketch. Mr. Anderson married a Miss Semple, by whom he had two sons and two daughters.

ANDERSON, ROBERT, M.D., editor and biographer of the British Poets, born at Carnwath in Lanarkshire on 7th January 1750, was the fourth son of William Anderson, feuar there, and Margaret Melrose, his wife. After receiving the rudiments of his education at his native village, he was sent to the grammar school at Lanark, the master of which was Robert Thomson, who had married a sister of the poet Thomson. Two of his schoolfellows at this school were Pinkerton the historian, and James Graeme, who died young, and whose poems were afterwards included in his edition of the British poets. When only ten years old his father died in his fortieth year, leaving his widow with four sons very slenderly provided for. Robert, the youngest, showed very early a taste for reading and study, and being destined for the church, he was sent, in the year 1767, to the university of Edinburgh, where he became a student of divinity. Subsequently changing his views, he entered upon the study of medicine; and after finishing his medical studies he went to England, and was for a short time employed as surgeon to the Dispensary at Bamborough castle, Northumberland. On the 25th September 1777 he married Anne, daughter of John Grey, Esq. of Ala-wick, a relative of the noble family of that name. He took his degree of doctor of medicine at Edinburgh, in May 1778. He afterwards practised as a physician at Alnwick, but his wife’s health failing, and having by his marriage secured a moderate independence, he finally returned to Edinburgh in 1784, where, in December 1785, his wife died of consumption, leaving him with three daughters, the youngest of whom soon followed her mother to the grave. In 1793 he married Margaret, daughter of Mr. David Dale, master of Yester school, Haddingtonshire. He now devoted himself to literary pursuits, and produced various works, chiefly in the department of criticism and biography. The principal of these is ‘The Works of the British Poets, with prefaces Biographical and Critical,’ in fourteen large octavo volumes, the earliest of which was published in 1792-3; the thirteenth in 1795, and the fourteenth in 1807. His correspondence with literary men of eminence was extensive. He was the friend and patron of all who evinced any literary talent. In particular he was the friend of Thomas Campbell the poet, who through his influence procured literary employment on his first coming to Edinburgh; and to Dr. Anderson Mr. Campbell dedicated his ‘Pleasures of Hope,’ as it was chiefly owing to him that that most beautiful poem was first brought before the world. It was in the year 1797, when Campbell was only nineteen years of age, that his acquaintance with Dr. Anderson commenced, which forms such an important epoch in the history of both. The following account of it by Dr. Irving is extracted from Beattie’s Life of Campbell : "Campbell’s introduction to Dr. Anderson, which had no small influence on his brilliant career, was in a great measure accidental. He had come to Edinburgh in search of employment, when he met Mr. Hugh Park, then a teacher in Glasgow, and afterwards second master of Stirling school. Park, who was a frank and warmhearted man, was deeply interested in the fortunes of the youthful poet, which were then at their lowest ebb. His own character was held in much esteem by the doctor; and he was one day coming to pay him a visit, when the young ladies (Dr. Anderson’s daughters) observed from the window that he was accompanied by a handsome lad, with whom he was engaged in earnest conversation, and who seemed reluctant to take leave. Their curiosity was naturally excited, and Campbell’s story was soon told—being merely the short and simple annals of a poor scholar, not unconscious of his own powers, but placed in the most unfavourable circumstances for the development of poetical genius. Park knew that he had obtained distinction in the university of Glasgow; and he fortunately had in his pocket a poem (an Elegy written in Mull the previous year) which his young friend had written in one of the Hebrides. Dr. Anderson was struck with the turn and spirit of the verses; nor did he hesitate to declare his opinion that they exhibited a fair promise of poetical excellence. The talents, the character, and the prospects of so interesting a youth formed the chief subject of conversation during the afternoon. He expressed a cordial wish to see the author without delay, and Park’s kindness was too active to neglect a commission so agreeable to himself. Campbell was accordingly introduced, and his first appearance produced a most favourable impression." (Beattie’s Life of Campbell, vol. i. p. 194.) As Campbell was anxious to obtain some literary employment, Dr. Anderson, with his characteristic zeal and sympathy in the cause of friendless merit, did not rest until the object had been attained. He warmly recommended the young poet to Mr. Mundell, the publisher, who made Campbell an offer of twenty pounds for an abridged edition of Bryan Edwards’s ‘ West Indies,’ which Campbell accepted, and which was his first undertaking for the public press. He afterwards consulted Dr. Anderson as to the publication of his ‘Pleasures of Hope,’ as his experience as an author gave peculiar weight to his opinions on this point. The manuscript, we are told, was then shown to Mr. Mundell, and after some discussion between Dr. Anderson and the publisher, the copyright was sold to him on the terms mentioned in the life of Campbell. "In the literary society," says Dr. Beattie, " which Dr. Anderson drew around him, the poem was a familiar topic in conversation, and he had soon the pleasure of finding that the opinion of other judicious critics, respecting its merits, was in harmony with his own." At that period, says Dr. Irving, "the editor of the British Poets had a very extensive acquaintance; and it was through him that Campbell formed his earliest counexions with men of letters. His house at Heriot’s Green was frequented by individuals who had then risen, or who afterwards rose to great eminence. As he had relinquished all professional pursuits, his time was very much at the disposal of his friends, whatever might be their denomination. He was visited by men of learning and men of genius, and perhaps in the course of the same day by some rustic rhymer, who was anxious to consult him about publishing his works by super— scription. I remember finding him in consultation with a little deformed student of physic, from the north of Ireland ; who, in detailing his literary history, took occasion to mention that at some particular crisis he had no intention of persecuting the study of poetry." (Ibid. vol. i. p. 241.) Before committing it to press, the manuscript of the ‘Pleasures of Hope,’ by the advice of Dr. Anderson, underwent a careful revisal, and at his suggestion the opening of the poem was entirely rewritten.

      In 1796 Dr. Anderson published ‘The miscellaneous works of Tobias Smollett, M.D., with memoirs of his life and writings.’ six volumes octavo; which passed through six editions. His life of Smollett was also published separately, the eighth edition of which appeared in 1818, under the title of ‘The Life of Tobias Smollett, M.D., with critical observations on his Works.’ He also published an elaborate ‘Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.. with critical observations on his Works.’ the third edition of which appeared in 1815. In 1820 he published an edition of Dr. Moore’s Works, with memoirs of his life and writings. Among his other publications may be mentioned ‘The Poetical Works of Robert Blair,’ with a Life. 1794. His latest production was a new edition of Blair’s Grave and other poems, with his life and critical observations. Edinburgh, 1826. He was for several years editor of the Edinburgh Magazine, afterwards incorporated with the Scots Magazine, and a contributor to various periodicals. Dr. Anderson died of dropsy in the chest on the 20th February 1830, in the 81st year of his age, and was buried, by his own desire, in Carnwath churchyard. In the year 1810 his eldest daughter was married to David Irving, LL.D., author of the Life of George Buchanan, the Lives of Scottish Writers, and other works. Mrs. Irving died suddenly in 1812, leaving a son. Dr. Anderson’s habits were so regular, and his disposition so cheerful and animated, that old age stole on him imperceptibly. As an instance of the strong interest which he ever took in the cause of civil and religious liberty, it may be mentioned, that, on the evening before his death, he asked for a map of Greece, that he might, to use his own words, form some notion of the general elements of this new state, which. had then worked out its independence. As a literary critic he was distinguished by a warm sensibility to the beauties of poetry and by extreme candour. His personal character was marked by the most urbane manners, the most honourable probity, and by unshaken constancy in friendship.—New Monthly Magazine for July 1830.—Annual Obituary.—Encyclopedia Britannica, 7th edition.

ANDERSON, WALTER, D.D., a respectable clergyman of mediocre talents, who was afflicted with an incurable furor scribendi, which exposed him to the ridicule of his acquaintances, was upwards of fifty years minister of Chirnside. The date and place of his birth are unknown. His first work was a ‘Life of Craesus, King of Lydia,’ in four parts, l2mo, 1755, which owed its origin, it is said, to a joke of David Hume. One day, being at the house of Ninewells, which stood within his parish, and was the property of Hume’s brother, and conversing with the great historian on his success as an author, he is said to have thus addressed him: "Mr. David, I daresay other people might write books too; but you clever folks have taken up all the good subjects. When I look about me, I cannot find one unoccupied." Hume waggishly replied, "What would you think, Mr. Anderson, of a history of Croesus, king of Lydia? That has never yet been written." He caught at the idea, and hence the life of the Lydian king. This singular work was honoured with a serio-burlesque notice in the second number of the first Edinburgh Review, started by Hume, Smith, Carlyle, and others; and received rather a severe critique in the second number of the Critical Review, then first established in London by Smollett. In 1769, undeterred by the ill success of his first attempt, he published a History of the Reigns of Francis IV. and Charles IX. of France, two volumes quarto. In 1775 appeared a continuation, being ‘The History of France, from the beginning of the reign of Henry III. down to the period of the edict of Nantes,’ one volume quarto. In 1783 he published two additional volumes, bringing the history down to the peace of Munster. Not one of these works ever sold, and as he published at his own risk, it is related that the cost of print and paper was defrayed by the sale, one by one, as each successive heavy quarto appeared, of some houses which he possessed in the town of Dunse, until they had all ceased to be his property. He also produced an essay, in quarto, on the philosophy of ancient Greece, which displayed considerable erudition, though sadly deficient in style, and may be said to have been the only production of his which merited or received any praise. He subsequently published a pamphlet against the principles of the first French Revolution, which fell still-born from the press. With the view of drawing attention to the work, and thereby promoting its sale, he wrote an addition or appendix to the pamphlet, of much greater extent than the pamphlet itself, with which he went to Edinburgh to get it printed. Having called upon Principal Robertson he informed him of his plan, which caused him to exclaim in surprise:

      "Really, this is the maddest of all your schemes—what! a small pamphlet is found heavy, and you propose to lighten it by making it ten times heavier! Never was such madness heard of!" "Why, why," answered Dr. Anderson, "did you never see a kite raised by boys ?" "I have," answered the principal. "Then you must have remarked that, when you try to raise the kite by itself, there is no getting it up: but only add a long string of papers to its tail, and up it goes like a laverock 1" The venerable historian was highly amused by this ingenious argument, but succeeded in dissuading the infatuated author from his design. Dr. Anderson died at an advanced age in July 1800, at the manse of Chirnside.

His works may be enumerated as follows:


The History of Croesus, king of Lydia, in four parts; containing Observations on the Ancient Notion of Destiny or Dreams, on the Origin and Credit of the Oracles, and the principles upon which their Oracles were defended against any attack. Edin. 1755, 4to.

The History of France, during the reigns of Francis II. and Charles IX. To which is prefixed, a Review of the General History of the Monarchy, from its origin to that period; comprehending an Account of the various Revolutions, Political Government, Laws, and Customs of the Nation. Lond. 1769, 2 vols. 4to.

The History of France, from the commencement of the reign of Henry III. and the rise of the Catholic League, to the peace of Vervins, and the establishment of the famous Edict of Nantz, in the reign of Henry IV., and from the commencement of the reign of Lewis XIII. to the general peace of Munster. Lond. 1775—1783, 3 vols. 4to.

The Philosophy of Ancient Greece investigated, in its origin and progress to the aeras of its greatest celebrity in the Ionian, Italic, and Athenian schools; with Remarks on the Delineated Systems of their Founders, and some Account of their Lives and Characters, and those of their most eminent Disciples. Edin. 1791, 4to.

More biographies on this name from the Dictionary of National Biography

Return to The Scottish Nation Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus