Robertson, Thomas (d.1799) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 48
Robertson, Thomas (d.1799)

by Edward Irving Carlyle
1904 Errata appended.

ROBERTSON, THOMAS (d. 1799), divine and author, was licensed probationer of the church of Scotland by the presbytery of Lauder on 3 Jan. 1775. In the same year he was presented to the parish of Dalmeny by the Earl of Rosebery, and ordained on 26 Oct. In 1784 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, almost immediately after its foundation; and in 1792 received the honorary degree of D.D. from the university of Edinburgh. In the following year he was appointed one of his majesty's chaplains in ordinary. He died in Edinburgh on 15 Nov. 1799. By Jane Jackson, whom he married in 1775, he had, besides a daughter Janet, three sons: John; William Findlay, lieutenant in the East India Company's service; and Charles Hope, a writer in Edinburgh.

Robertson was author of ‘An Enquiry into the Fine Arts’ (Edinburgh, 1784, 4to), of which only the first volume was published. It contains an elaborate treatment of the history and theory of ancient and modern music. He also published a ‘History of Mary Queen of Scots’ (Edinburgh, 1793), in which he endeavoured to distinguish Mary's authentic writings from the forgeries assigned to her, and published facsimiles of both classes of documents in an appendix. An essay by him on the character of Hamlet appears in the ‘Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’ (ii. 251).

[Scott's Fasti Eccl. Scot. I. i. 183; Biogr. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

E. I. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.234
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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419 ii 10 Robertson, Thomas (d. 1799): for a minister read probationer