Burton, John Hill

Burton, John Hill historiographer royal for Scotland, was born April 22, 1809, at Aberdeen, where he was educated at the grammar-school, and afterwards at Marischal College. His father dying when he was a boy, he had his own way to make. He chose the legal profession, and was in 1831 admitted 'to the Scottish bar. He never got practice, but wrote two legal books, of value in their day; and he acquired a knowledge of the history of Scotch law which was useful when he afterwards wrote his History. Unable to support himself by his profession, he succeeded in doing so by the scarcely less arduous profession of letters. He began to write as early as 1833 for the Westminster, and afterwards for the Edinburgh and North British Reviews. In 1846 he published The Life and Correspondence of David Hume, and in 1847, Lives of Simon Lord Lovat, and Duncan Forbes of Culloden. His main work, however, was his History of Scotland (1853,2 vols.), covering the period from the Revolution of 1688 to the extinction of the last Jacobite rebellion in 1748, and which he supplemented in 1867 to 1870 by seven volumes on the history of Scotland from Agricola's invasion to the Revolution of 1688. A second edition of the whole work, in eight volumes, was issued in 1873. "This," says a writer in the Academy, is beyond doubt the most, indeed, the only, complete history of that country; for no other historian has embraced the whole of the political existence of the Scottish nation down to the time when it finally merged in that of Great Britain." His last publication was, History of the Reign of Queen Anne

(1880). Mr. Burton died Aug. 10, 1881, at Morton House, near Edinburgh. (B. P.)

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