Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Buchanan, Robert (1785-1873)

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BUCHANAN, ROBERT (1785–1873), professor of logic in the university of Glasgow, was a cadet of the clan Buchanan, a native of Callander, where he was born in 1785. At the university of Glasgow he specially distinguished himself in the philosophy classes. After completing his divinity course, he was in 1812 licensed as a preacher of the church of Scotland by the presbytery of Haddington, and in 1813 was presented to the parish of Peebles. In 1824 he was appointed assistant and successor to Professor Jardine in the chair of logic in Glasgow University, and becoming sole professor in 1827, he held the office till 1864, when he retired to Ardfillayne, Dunoon. He died on 2 March 1873. He was the author of ‘Fragments of the Table Round,’ 1860; ‘Vow of Glentreuil, and other Poems,’ 1862; ‘Wallace, a Tragedy,’ 1856; and ‘Tragic Dramas from Scottish History,’ 1868, containing ‘The British Brothers,’ a tragic drama, ‘Gaston Phœbus,’ a tragic drama, ‘Edinburga,’ a tragic drama, and the tragedies of ‘Wallace’ and ‘King James the First.’ He also published anonymously, in 1868, ‘Canute's Birthday in Ireland, a Drama in Five Acts.’ His tragedy ‘Wallace’ was performed twice for a charitable object at the Prince's Theatre, Glasgow, in March 1862, the principal characters being personated by students of the divinity and art classes. Though averse to independent and original speculations, he had a thorough mastery of the Scottish philosophy, and his highly cultivated taste was manifested not only in his verse, but in the correct and chaste style of his lectures. In commemoration of his services while occupant of the logic chair for forty years, the Buchanan prizes were instituted in 1866, consisting of the interest of 314l. for students of the logic, moral philosophy, and English literature classes. By his will he bequeathed 10,000l. for the founding of Buchanan bursaries in connection with the arts classes of the university.

[Hew Scott's Fasti Eccles. Scot. i. 237; Glasgow Herald, 3 March 1873; Ralston Inglis's Dramatic Writers of Scotland, pp. 24, 25, 128; Glasgow University Calendar.]

T. F. H.