Papers of and relating to James Beattie (1735 - 1803) Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic, poet, essayist and moral philosopher

Scope and Content

Lectures (delivered by Beattie) Abstract of lectures on Philosophy of human mind, 1779 - 1780 (GB 231 MS M 185) (transcribed by Adam Martin) Abstract of lectures on Philosophy of human mind, 1779 - 1780 (GB 231 MS M 185) (transcribed by Adam Martin) Notes on Moral Philosophy, Vol 1, 1773 - 1774 (transcribed by James Smith) (GB 231 MS M 185.2)Notes on Moral Philosophy, Vol 1, 1773 - 1774 (transcribed by James Smith) (GB 231 MS M 185.2)Notes on a System of Philosophy, 1776 (transcribed by W Duncan) (GB 231 MS M 185.3) Notes on a System of Philosophy, 1776 (transcribed by W Duncan) (GB 231 MS M 185.3) Abstract of lectures on Philosophy of human mind, c1784 (GB 231 MS M 186) Abstract of lectures on Philosophy of human mind, c1784 (GB 231 MS M 186) Abstract of lectures on Philosophy of human mind, n.d. (GB 231 MS M 187) Abstract of lectures on Philosophy of human mind, n.d. (GB 231 MS M 187) Elements of moral science, 1776-1777 (GB 231 MS M 187.1) Elements of moral science, 1776-1777 (GB 231 MS M 187.1) Logicae compendium sub dialogi forma, n.d. (GB 231 MS M 187.2) Logicae compendium sub dialogi forma, n.d. (GB 231 MS M 187.2) Abstract of lectures on moral philosophy, 1777 - 1778 (transcribed by Joannes Findlater) (GB 231 MS M 187.3) Abstract of lectures on moral philosophy, 1777 - 1778 (transcribed by Joannes Findlater) (GB 231 MS M 187.3) Lectures, 1780s (transcribed by W Paterson) (GB 231 MS M 404) Lectures, 1780s (transcribed by W Paterson) (GB 231 MS M 404) Philosophy, 1762 - 1773 (GB 231 MS 555) Philosophy, 1762 - 1773 (GB 231 MS 555) Elements of Moral Philosophy, n.d. (GB 231 MS 2065) Elements of Moral Philosophy, n.d. (GB 231 MS 2065) Moral philosophy, 1797 (transcribed by Joseph Troup) (GB 231 MS 2901)Moral philosophy, 1797 (transcribed by Joseph Troup) (GB 231 MS 2901)Moral Philosophy and Logic, 1778 (transcribed by John McDonald) (GB 231 MS 3486)

Personal papers Correspondence and personal papers, c 1758 - c 1799 (GB 231 MS 0030) Correspondence and personal papers, c 1758 - c 1799 (GB 231 MS 0030) The correspondence contains details of both family and professional life, with correspondents represented including David Garrick, Reynolds, Bothwell, Johnson, H. More, Sir William Forbes, Professor Glennie, Lord Monboddo, Thomas Percy, Cowper, Joshua Steele, Beattie's father in law, Dr Dun, his wife, Mary Beattie, and sons, Montague Beattie and James Hay Beattie. Personal papers include day books, 1768 - 1798; diary of a visit to London in 1773; journal for the academic sessions 1761 - 1793; copies of poems by Gray; and manuscript copies of The Hermit, On Laughter, Remarks on the Evidence of the Christian Religion and others. In addition to Beattie's own papers, there is a small collection of papers (journals, verses and essays) belonging to his sons, James Hay Beattie and Montague Beattie.

Pages 5 and 6 of letter from James Beattie (1735-1803), Suffolk St., Charing Cross, London, to Mrs Montagu, 21 Aug 1773 (GB 231 MS 3294). The remainder of this letter (pages 1 - 4) is in GB 231 MS 30/ 1/ 55 - 56

Letter from James Beattie (1735-1803), Marischal College, Aberdeen to Roderick MacLeod (d.1815), King's College, Aberdeen, recommending William Paterson of Marischal College, 1781 March 26 (GB 231 MS 3522)

Miniature portraits of James Beattie (1735 - 1803) and his son, James Hay Beattie (1768 - 1790), n.d. (GB 231 MS 3256/ 1 - 2)

Administrative / Biographical History

James Beattie, MA Marischal College, 1753, LLD King's College, 1770, DCL Oxford, 1773, was Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic at Marischal College from 1760 until his death on 18 Aug 1803. He was a contemporary and friend of notable Aberdeen philosophers, Thomas Reid, George Campbell, John Gregory and Alexander Gerard, and an elected member of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society from 1761 until its demise in 1773. His Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth(1770), written in response to David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature, is the best known of his philosophical works. Other well-known pieces include Scoticisms (Aberdeen, 1778), Dissertations - Moral and Critical(1783), Evidences of the Christian Religion briefly and plainly stated(1786), and Elements of Moral Science (1790 - 1793). He also enjoyed critical and popular acclaim for literary works such as The Minstrel (vol 1 1771, vol 2 1774) and The Hermit.

Beattie was born on 25 Oct 1735, in Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, the son of James Beattie, farmer, and studied at Marischal College, under Thomas Blackwell, author of An Inquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer. After graduating from Marischal College in 1753, he took the post of clerk and schoolmaster in the parish of Fordoun, Laurencekirk, and in 1758 was appointed schoolmaster at Aberdeen Grammar School. He married Mary Dun on 28 Jun 1767, and had 2 children, James Hay Beattie (appointed assistant and later successor to his father at Marischal, 1787) and Montagu Beattie.

See DNB; Fasti Academiae Mariscallanae Aberdonensis: Selections from the Records of the Marischal College and University, 1593 - 1860, ed. by Peter John Anderson, 3 vols (Aberdeen: Spalding Club, 1889-1898); Alexander Bower, An Account of the Life of James Beattie(London: Baldwin, 1804); William Forbes, An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LLD, Including Many of His Original Letters (Edinburgh: Constable, 1806); William Geddes, Poetic Ideals of Education: The Minstrel and George MacDonald(Aberdeen: J.R. Smith, 1896); The Minutes of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society, 1758 - 1773, ed. by H. Lewis Ulman (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1990), pp. 37-40.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

GB 231 MS M 185 - 187: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS M 185 - 187: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS M 405: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS M 405: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS 30/ 1-53: deposited in the University by Miss Forbes of Cults, Aberdeen; GB 231 MS 30/ 1-53: deposited in the University by Miss Forbes of Cults, Aberdeen; GB 231 MS 555: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS 555: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS 2065: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS 2065: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS 2901: deposited in Feb 1977, through the offices of Marcus K. Milne, Aberdeen, and A. Bunting, factor, Messrs J. and G. Collie, Solicitors, Aberdeen. From the estate of Lord Meston; GB 231 MS 2901: deposited in Feb 1977, through the offices of Marcus K. Milne, Aberdeen, and A. Bunting, factor, Messrs J. and G. Collie, Solicitors, Aberdeen. From the estate of Lord Meston; GB 231 MS 3256: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS 3256: date and source not recorded; GB 231 MS 3294: Transferred from Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen, 1987; GB 231 MS 3294: Transferred from Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen, 1987; GB 231 MS 3486: Purchased in October 1995 with assistance from the National Fund for acquisitions administered with Government funds by the National Museums of Scotland; GB 231 MS 3486: Purchased in October 1995 with assistance from the National Fund for acquisitions administered with Government funds by the National Museums of Scotland; GB 231 MS 3522: deposited in Mar 1996, by Graham Hunter, Ledingham Chalmers, Solicitors, Aberdeen.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list for correspondence in GB 231 MS 0030 available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk)

Very brief collection level descriptions for all other material available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

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Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

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Related Material

Papers deposited in Special Libraries and Archives, University of Aberdeen Records of Aberdeen Philosophical Society, 1758 - 1939 (GB 231 MS 0145; GB 231 MS 0539; GB 231 MS 0597; GB 231 MS 3107;Records of Aberdeen Philosophical Society, 1758 - 1939 (GB 231 MS 0145; GB 231 MS 0539; GB 231 MS 0597; GB 231 MS 3107;Papers of James Hay Beattie (1768 - 1790) (GB 231 MS 30/32-34; GB 231 MS 2122; GB 231 MS 3256

Papers deposited elsewhere Correspondence and biographical papers of James Beattie (1735-1803), 1758 - 1802 (National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division); Correspondence and biographical papers of James Beattie (1735-1803), 1758 - 1802 (National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division); Lecture notes, sermons, and papers of James Beattie (1735 - 1803), 1760 - 1803 (Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections); Correspondence of James Beattie (1735 - 1803), 1774 - 1792 (Huntingdon Library).Lecture notes, sermons, and papers of James Beattie (1735 - 1803), 1760 - 1803 (Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections); Correspondence of James Beattie (1735 - 1803), 1774 - 1792 (Huntingdon Library).

Bibliography

James Beattie, The Works of James Beattie; introduced by Roger J. Robinson , 10 vols in case (London, Routledge/Thoemmes, 1996)James Beattie, The Works of James Beattie; introduced by Roger J. Robinson , 10 vols in case (London, Routledge/Thoemmes, 1996)Roger James Robinson, The Poetry of James Beattie: a critical edition, 2 vols ( unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Aberdeen, 1997)

Additional Information

This material is original