Raban, Edward (DNB00)

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RABAN, EDWARD (d. 1658), printer in Aberdeen, was an Englishman by birth, and was said to have been a native of Worcestershire. For this statement there is no direct evidence, though in ‘Rabans Resolution against Drunkennesse,’ printed in 1622, he speaks of his ‘father's brother, Peter Raban, a parson at Meltonmowbre in Wooster-shyre.’ In 1600 Raban set off, along with a number of ‘bankrout merchands and run-away prentizes,’ to serve with the army in the Netherlands. He served in the wars for some ten years, and after that time seems to have travelled over a considerable portion of the continent. In 1620 he started as a printer in Edinburgh, at the sign of the A. B. C., in a house at the Cowgate Port, but he printed only one book, so far as has yet been discovered, in that town. In the same year he appears at St. Andrews, where he opened a shop with his old sign of the A. B. C. After remaining two years he travelled further north, and in 1622 settled in Aberdeen. Here he met with considerable encouragement from the authorities of the town and the university, and also from Bishop Forbes, who remained through life his firm friend. The house he occupied was on the north side of Castle Street, with the sign of ‘The Townes Armes.’ From 1622 to 1645 he printed continuously, issuing, besides a number of academic productions, some extremely interesting Scottish books. In 1649 his last book appeared, and in the following year his successor, James Brown, was appointed. Former writers, as a rule, have given 1649 as the date of his death, but this matter has been definitely settled by the discovery of the entry of his burial, ‘1658, Dec. 6, Edward Rabein, at Wast dyk.’ Raban was twice married: first, to Janet Johnston, who died in 1627; and, secondly, to Janet Ailhous.

[Edmond's Aberdeen Printers, 1886; Last Notes on the Aberdeen Printers, 1888; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xii. 21, 74, 3rd ser. i. 198, 6th ser. x. 10, 197, 7th ser. iii. 476.]

E. G. D.