Scot, David (DNB00)

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SCOT, DAVID (1770?–1834), orientalist and miscellaneous writer, born about 1770 at Penicuik, near Edinburgh, was son of William Scot, a small farmer, who is said to have sold his cow to pay the expense of printing a theological pamphlet. Young Scot was educated at the parish school and Edinburgh University. He was licensed as a preacher by the presbytery of Edinburgh on 25 Nov. 1795. Supporting himself by private teaching, he studied medicine, and graduated M.D. on 25 June 1812. He formed a close intimacy with Alexander Murray (1775–1813) [q. v.] and Dr. John Leyden [q. v.], and under their guidance he made himself master of many Asiatic tongues, at the same time acting as tutor to candidates for the Indian service. In 1812 Scot was an unsuccessful candidate for the Hebrew chair in Edinburgh University; but, through the influence of Sir John Marjoribanks of Lees, he obtained the parish living of Corstorphine, near Edinburgh, to which he was presented on 22 Aug. and ordained on 17 Nov. 1814. After a ministry of nineteen years he was appointed in 1833 professor of Hebrew in St. Mary's College, St. Andrews. When on a visit to Edinburgh to attend the meeting of the British Association, he was seized with a dropsical complaint, and died on 18 Sept. 1834. His wife survived him.

Besides editing Dr. Murray's posthumous ‘History of the European Languages,’ Scot was author of: 1. ‘Essays on various Subjects of Belles Letters ....,’ Edinburgh, 1824, 12mo. 2. ‘Discourses on some important subjects of Natural and Revealed Religion,’ Edinburgh, 1825, 8vo. 3. ‘Key to the Hebrew Pentateuch,’ London, 1826, 8vo. 4. ‘Key to the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon,’ London, 1828, 8vo. He also wrote a Hebrew grammar (published 1834) for the use of his class; it is said that he dictated it extempore to the printers.

[Scott's Fasti, i. 138; Murray's Biogr. Annals of the Parish of Colinton; Thomson's Dict. of Eminent Scotsmen.]

G. S-h.