Papers of Professor J. Finlayson (1758-1808)

Scope and Content

The papers include: lectures, 1795-1796; lectures on logic, 1796-1797; lectures on logic and metaphysics, 1807-1808; and, a letter concerning publication of the memoirs of Alexander Carlyle, 1806. The papers also include lectures, 1794-1795, housed within Edinburgh University's New College Library, at MSS FLE.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Finlayson was born at Nether Cambushenie, near Dunblane, on 15 February 1758. He studied at Glasgow University and later became tutor to the sons of Sir William Murray of Ochtertyre. Finlayson became licensed to preach in 1785. He assumed the duties of Professor of Logic at Edinburgh University in 1786, and he was ordained as a minister in 1787 in the Parish of Borthwick near Edinburgh. With a rising reputation on matters of ecclesiastical policy, he dedicated a lot of time to the study of the laws, constitution and history of the Scottish church. In 1802, Finlayson was elected as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Among his publications were the four volumes of The sermons of Hugh Blair (1815-1816). Professor James Finlayson died on 28 January 1808.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Lectures acquired 1964, Accession no. E64.59. Lectures acquired 1968, Accession no. E68.33.


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.

Related Material

The local Indexes show other references to Finlayson related material (check the Indexes for more details): certificates awarded to individuals in 1796 and 1800.


Corporate Names