Papers of Professor John Hill (c. 1747-1805)

Scope and Content

The papers of Professor John Hill are composed of the following works and letters: Lectures on Chymistry given by Joseph Black, 1771; an Essay upon the difficulty and the importance of defining synonymous terms in all languages illustrated by examples from the Latin; lectures on Horace and Tacitus; An essay upon the principles of Historical Composition. With an application of These principles to The writings of Tacitus; An analysis of the principles of taste; manuscript notes by Hill in a copy of his Heads of lectures for the use of the highest class of students of Humanity in the University of Edinburgh 1780; his Notes respecting the duty of His majesty's Justices of the Peace; notes of lectures, 1797 and 1802-1803; and, letter and class certificate relevant to John Lee, 1797.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Hill was born in St. Andrews around 1747. His father was a Minister there. He studied at St. Andrews University, matriculating in 1761 and following the Arts course with the intention of studying for the Ministry too. Hill was appointed to the Chair of Humanity at St. Andrews University in 1773 and then to the Chair of Humanity at Edinburgh University in 1775. He taught junior and senior Latin classes and introduced a series of lectures on Roman antiquities. Hill wrote Latin synonyms, and then in 1807 his Life of Dr. Hugh Blair was published posthumously. Professor John Hill died in 1805.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Lectures taken down by J. Borthwick purchased from Major Borthwick of Crookston, 1966, Accession no. E66.18.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Rice, D. Talbot (comp.). The university portraits. pp.102-103. Edinburgh: The University Press, 1957.

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.

Corporate Names