Joseph Robertson (1810—1866) - Historian
He was born on 17th May 1810 in
Aberdeen, Scotland. He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Marischal College, Aberdeen, where he met the historian John Hill Burton, who became his lifelong friend and colleague. Apprenticed as a lawyer, Robertson turned instead to literature, and his first collection of essays, Deliciae literariae (1839), showed his interests to lie in the field of antiquarian studies. He was a founder-member of the Spalding Club, the society formed in Aberdeen to publish works of Scottish historical interest, and he became one of its principal editors. To support himself financially he became a journalist and was appointed editor of the Edinburgh Evening Courant in 1848, a post he held until 1853, when he became Curator of the Historical Records in Register House, Edinburgh. There he continued the work of organizing Scotland's historical records which had been begun earlier by Thomas Thomson. Robertson proved to be a thorough and painstaking scholar whose main interest lay in the nation's ecclesiastical records, this interest inspired his best work, an edition of Scots ecclesiastical laws, Concilia ecclesiae scoticanae (1866). He died on 13 December 1866.
Works; Guide to Deeside (1835); The Book of Bon Accord (1838); Deliciae literariae (1839); Collections for a History of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff (1842); ed., with George Grub, History of Scots Affairs from MDCXXXVII to MDCXLI, 3 vols. (1841), ed., Liber Colegii Nostre Domini (1846); On Scholastic Offices in the Scottish Church in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (1853);ed., Diary of General Patrick Gordon (1862); ed., Inventories of Jewels, Dresses, Furniture, Books and Paintings Belonging to Queen Mary (1863);ed., Concilia ecclesiae scoticanae (1866); History of the Reformation in Aberdeen (1877).
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