(cf. Constable, Correspondence, i. 22), employed William Anderson, an Edinburgh lawyer, to make transcripts from the Advocates' Library and the public records. In Appendix No. xxiii. to the ‘History’ Pinkerton published a ‘Paper on the Present State of the Public Records,’ which he said was written by Anderson, and some of the statements in which he professed to corroborate by affirming that the expense of examining these records was ‘enormous, to judge from the attorney's bill, which exceeded twelve pounds for a trifling labour, which in England would have been richly recompensed by three or four guineas.’ This called forth a pamphlet by Anderson, entitled ‘An Answer to an Attack made by John Pinkerton, Esqr., of Hampstead, in his “History of Scotland,” lately published, upon William Anderson, writer in Edinburgh, containing an account of the Records of Scotland, and many Strange Letters of Mr. Pinkerton, accompanied with suitable Comments,’ Edinburgh, 1797. Anderson also commenced a suit against Pinkerton to obtain payment of his fees, arrested some of his rents to compel payment in Scotland, and compelled payment of the costs of the suit.
In 1797 Pinkerton published ‘Iconographia Scotica, or Portraits of Illustrious Persons of Scotland;’ and in 1799 ‘The Scotish Gallery; or Portraits of Eminent Persons, with their Characters.’ These are entirely distinct works, the former being mainly concerned with royal personages. They are chiefly of value for the portraits, many of them engraved for the first time from those in private collections. His subsequent works were somewhat miscellaneous in character: ‘Modern Geography digested on a New Plan,’ 2 vols. 1802, 2nd edit. 3 vols. 1807; ‘Recollections of Paris,’ 2 vols. 1806; ‘General Collection of Voyages and Travels,’ 17 vols. 4to, 1807–14; ‘New Modern Atlas,’ in parts, 1808–9; and ‘Petrology, or a Treatise on the Rocks,’ 1811. The ‘Collection of Voyages and Travels’ was a useful compilation in its day, being the most voluminous that had hitherto appeared, with the exception of the French ‘Histoire Générale des Voyages’ (Paris, 1785), which had occupied twenty-four bulky quarto volumes. A large number of very rare volumes of travels were incorporated, and the average merit of the plates was considerable.
Pinkerton was for some time editor of the ‘Critical Review.’ In 1814 he republished, in two volumes, his ‘Inquiry into the History of Scotland,’ including with it his ‘Dissertation on the Scythians or Goths.’ Sir Walter Scott mentions, in March 1813, that Pinkerton had a play coming out at Edinburgh, and that it was ‘by no means bad poetry, but not likely to be popular’ (LOCKHART, Life of Scott, ed. 1847, p. 236). During the latter period of his life Pinkerton resided in Paris, where he died on 10 March 1826. He is described as ‘a very little and very thin old man, with a very small, sharp, yellow face, thickly pitted by the small-pox, and decked with a pair of green spectacles’ (Nichols, Illustr. v. 673). His literary talents were scarcely commensurate with his powers of research; and his judgment was not unfrequently warped by peculiar prejudices and eccentricities. Certain infirmities of temper and character created also many breaches in his friendships; and in several instances he showed himself a somewhat spiteful enemy. He married in 1793 Miss Burgess of Odiham, Hampshire, sister of Thomas Burgess (1756–1837) [q. v.], bishop of Salisbury; but they separated, and left no family.
Portraits of Pinkerton are prefixed to his ‘History of Scotland’ and his ‘Literary Correspondence,’ 1830.
[Nichols's Illustrations, v. 665–73 and passim; Gent. Mag. 1826, pp. 469–72; Pinkerton's Literary Correspondence; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen; Life of Archibald Constable; Lockhart's Life of Scott.]
PINKETHMAN, WILLIAM (fl. 1692–1724), actor, held originally a low rank in the theatre. A tendency to overact and to introduce vulgar and impertinent business established him in the favour of the ‘groundlings,’ and he rose in time to be a trusted, and in some senses a competent, performer. He is first heard of at the Theatre Royal, subsequently Drury Lane, in 1692, in Shadwell's ‘Volunteers, or the Stock-jobbers,’ in which he played Taylor, an original part of six lines. In the same or the following year he was the original Porter in Southerne's ‘Maid's Last Prayer,’ and in 1694, in Ravenscroft's ‘Canterbury Guests, or a Bargain Broken,’ he played Second Innkeeper and Jack Sawce. On the secession, in 1695, of Betterton and his associates, Pinkethman was promoted to a better line of parts. In 1696, accordingly, he played Jaques in the ‘Third Part of Don Quixote,’ by D'Urfey; Dr. Pulse in Mrs. Manley's ‘Lost Lover;’ Palæmon in ‘Pausanias,’ by Norton or Southerne; Sir Merlin Marteen in Mrs. Behn's ‘Younger Brother, or the Amorous Jill;’ Nic Froth, an innkeeper, in ‘The Cornish Comedy;’ and Castillio, jun., in ‘Neglected Virtue, or the Unhappy Conqueror.’ Among his original parts, in 1697, were Tom Dawkins in Settle's ‘Man in the Moon,’ Amorous in ‘Female Wits’ (in which also he appeared