Lectures of Professor Alexander Gerard (1728-1795)

Scope and Content

The material is composed of lectures on moral philosophy given at Marischal College, Aberdeen.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Gerard was born at the manse of Chapel of Garioch, Aberdeenshire, on 22 February 1728. He studied at Marischal College (now Aberdeen University), and became licensed as a preacher of the Church of Scotland in 1748. In 1750 he became a Professor of Philosophy at Marischal College, and in 1755 he published his ideas for a re-arrangement of university studies. Gerard was appointed Professor of Divinity at Marischal College in 1760, and at the same time Minister of Greyfriars, Aberdeen. He resigned these posts on his appointment as Professor of Divinity at King's College (also Aberdeen University) in 1771. He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1764. His publications include An essay on genius (1774), Liberty a cloak of maliciousness, both in the American rebellion and in the manners of the times (1778), and The corruption of Christianity (1792). Professor Alexander Gerard died on 22 February 1795.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 7. Finch-Gloucester. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show other references to Gerard related material in the Laing Collection (check the Indexes for more details): a letter on the education of divinity students, 1792, at La.III.352; and, a receipt for payments due to Marischal College from the bishop's rents of Aberdeen, 1764, at La.II.187/1.

Corporate Names