At the house of his
son-in-law, Mr. Duff, engineer, Glasgow, on the 13th August, David
Buchanan, Esq., editor of the Edinburgh Evening Courant, in the 70th
year of his age. His death was somewhat sudden and unexpected. For the
last five or six years he had been suffering from a disease of the
heart, and was at last cut off by it. The Friday previous to his death
he left Edinburgh for Glasgow on a visit, and was in his usual health up
till Saturday night, when he complained a little, and expired the
following morning at 2 o’clock.
Mr. Buchanan was in connection with the newspaper press of Scotland for
nearly half a century, and did much to elevate its character. His
writing was at all times clear and concise. He contributed, we believe,
some very able articles to the Edinburgh Review shortly after the
commencement of that periodical; but the first literary effort of his,
which attracted anything like general attention, was a pamphlet,
published in 1806 or 1807, showing the inefficiency of the volunteer
system of Pitt. The opinions so ably advocated in this pamphlet were
taken up by Mr. Wyndham in the House of Commons, and received
considerable notice from the public men of the day. At the time Mr.
Buchanan wrote this pamphlet he resided in Montrose with his father, who
was a bookseller and printer of some repute. Encouraged by the promises
and support of a number of gentlemen belonging to the Liberal party, Mr.
Buchanan came to Edinburgh about the end of the year 1808, and started a
weekly newspaper called the Weekly Register. This paper, although
conducted with much ability, only lived about a twelvemonth. The
services of Mr. Buchanan were then transferred to the Caledonian
Mercury, which he edited from 1810 to 1827. A vacancy having occurred in
the latter year in the management of the Courant, the situation was
offered to Mr. Buchanan, who at once accepted of it. He was, therefore,
upwards of 21 years in connection with that paper.
About 20 or 25 years ago, Mr. Buchanan brought out an edition of
“Smith’s Wealth of Nations,” with extensive notes, and a volume of
additional matter. He also edited an edition of the “Edinburgh
Gazetteer,” in eight volumes, and supplied a considerable portion of the
articles which fell under the home department of that work. A few years
ago he wrote a small volume on the principles of commercial taxation,
containing valuable matter.
Mr. Buchanan was born in 1779. He was a man of the most unobtrusive
habits, mild and gentle in his demeanour, and held in high respect by
all who enjoyed an opportunity of forming an estimate of his character.