Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Reid, Hugo

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REID, HUGO (1809–1872), educational writer, born at Edinburgh on 21 June 1809, was third son of Dr. Peter Reid, by Christian, eldest daughter of Hugo Arnot [q. v.], historian of Edinburgh, and younger brother of David Boswell Reid [q. v.] He was a good classical scholar, but was best known in the Scottish capital as an able chemist, mechanician, and writer of popular educational handbooks. He was for some years president of the Hunterian Society of Edinburgh, and afterwards lecturer on chemistry and natural philosophy at the High School, Liverpool. In 1858 he went to the United States, migrated thence to Nova Scotia, and for some years held the post of principal of Dalhousie College, Halifax. He died in London on 13 June 1872. He married, in 1839, Marion, eldest daughter of James Kirkland, a Glasgow merchant, by whom he left one daughter. Reid published, besides ‘Catechisms’ of chemistry (1837), of heat (1840), and of astronomy (1841), and elementary text-books on geography (1849), physical geography (1850), arithmetic (1853), and mathematics (1872):

  1. ‘Outlines of Medical Botany,’ Edinburgh, 1832, 12mo; 2nd edit. enlarged, 1839.
  2. ‘Tabular Views of Botanical Classifications,’ Edinburgh, 1833, 8vo.
  3. ‘Popular Treatise on Chemistry: I. Chemistry of Nature’ (all published), Glasgow, 1834, 12mo; reprinted Edinburgh, 1837.
  4. ‘Science of Botany,’ Glasgow, 1837, 18mo; Edinburgh, 1838; sixth thousand, 1840.
  5. ‘The Steam Engine,’ 1828, 12mo; other edit. 1840 and 1851.
  6. ‘Remarks on Arago's Statements on the Steam-engine,’ 1840, 8vo.
  7. ‘Chemistry of Science and Art,’ Edinburgh, 1840, 12mo; 2nd edit. 1848.
  8. ‘Natural Philosophy: Book I. Pneumatics,’ Edinburgh, 1841, 8vo.
  9. ‘Elements of Astronomy,’ Edinburgh, 1842, 12mo; 2nd edit. 1852; 3rd edit. 1856; 4th edit., by A. Mackay, 1874, 8vo.
  10. ‘What should be done for the People? An Appeal to the Electors of the United Kingdom,’ London, 1848, 8vo.
  11. ‘A System of Modern Geography,’ Edinburgh, 1852, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1857.
  12. ‘The Principles of Education,’ 1853–4, 12mo.
  13. ‘On Mathematical Geography and easy Methods of teaching it’ (a Society of Arts Lecture), London, 1854, 8vo.
  14. ‘The Solar System,’ London, 1854, a folio sheet.
  15. ‘Mental Arithmetic,’ London, 1859, 18mo.
  16. ‘Sketches in North America,’ London, 1861, 12mo.
  17. ‘The American Question in a Nutshell; or why we should recognise the Confederates,’ London, 1862, 8vo.
  18. ‘A Handbook of the History of the United States,’ London, 1862, 8vo.
  19. (Under the pseudonym of Roger Boswell) ‘The Art of Conversation,’ London, 1867, 8vo.
  20. ‘On Euclid as a School-book,’ London, 1870, 8vo.

Reid was a frequent contributor to ‘Notes and Queries,’ under his initials ‘H. R.’ His wife published ‘A Plea for Women,’ Edinburgh, 1843, 8vo (another edit. New York, 1845, 8vo).

[Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Literature; Edinburgh Courant, 20 June 1872.]

G. S. B.