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James Ballantyne (1772-1833) - Printer

He was born in Kelso and educated at the Grammar School, where he met Walter Scott in 1783. He attended the University of Edinburgh between 1785 and 1786 and became a solicitor's apprentice, before establishing his own law office in 1795. The following year he undertook the printing  and editing of the Kelso Mail and his friendship with Scott enabled him to print the first two volumes of The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border in January 1802. After its success Scott persuaded Ballantyne to set up a business in Edinburgh by lending him £500 and procuring him legal printing work; Scott became a partner in the firm and principal shareholder (though this was not made public). He also established the publishing and bookselling firm run by John Ballantyne, James's brother; although this failed, the printing business was a great success and gained a reputation for the fineness and accuracy of its work. As well as printing Scott's work, Ballantyne acted as an editor and made several alterations to mistakes in the texts of the novels. The printing firm of James Ballan tyne was involved in the financial crash of the publisher Archibald Constable in 1826 and was forced to declare itself bankrupt. Ballantyne died on 17th January 1833.

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