Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/James Anderson (2.)

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ANDERSON, James, a learned and industrious antiquary of Edinburgh, was born there August 5, 1662, and educated to the legal profession, in which he became a writer to the Signet. His reputation as a historian stood so high, that just before the Union the Scottish parliament commissioned him to prepare for publication what remained of the public records of the kingdom, and in their last session voted a sum of 1940 sterling to defray his expenses. At this work he laboured for several years with great judgment and perseverance; but it was not completed at his death in 1728. The book was published posthumously in 1739, edited by Thomas Ruddiman, under the title Selectus Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotiæ Thesaurus. The preparation of this great national work involved the author in considerable pecuniary loss; and soon after his death, the numerous plates, engraved by Sturt, were sold for £530. These plates are now lost, and the book has become exceedingly scarce. After the union of the crowns, Anderson was appointed in 1715 postmaster-general for Scotland, as some compensation for his valuable labours; but in the political struggles of 1717 he was deprived of this office, and never again obtained any reward for his important services to his country.