Thomas Gordon - Professor of Humanity at Aberdeen

Personal data
Date of birth
1714
Date of death
1797-03-11
Alias
Professor Gordon
Biography

Professor at the University of Aberdeen. Son of George Gordon, sometime Professor of Hebrew.

Gordon completed his undergraduate studies in 1731, and in 1739 was appointed Professor of Humanity at King's College, Aberdeen. Shortly before his death in 1797 he even became Professor of Greek. He was also for several years joint minister of the English chapel in Aberdeen together with James Riddoch.

In 1783, Gordon was one of the co-founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Gordon was the grandfather (by his eldest child, Elizabeth) of philosopher Robert Eden Scott (1770-1811), who also held a number of posts at King's College.

Life with Boswell

Upon his arrival with Dr Johnson in Aberdeen in the evening of August 21, 1773, Boswell sent a message to Prof. Gordon, who came and breakfasted with them on the next day. They went together to the English chapel, which Boswell described as "a respectable congregation, [with] an admirable organ." It was Gordon himself who officiated, but according to Boswell, he "had the most unhappy defects of speech. His tongue was too big. He made such efforts to articulate, ’twas like convulsions. There was no understanding him." After this, they walked to the shore, and Gordon appears to have spent most of the day accompanying them around the town.

Gordon went to see them again in the morning of August 22, together with Prof. Ross, Sir Alexander Gordon and others, and he went with them to see Marischal College and to attend the presentation at the Town Hall later that day of the Freedom of the City to Dr Johnson. In the afternoon, while Johnson was being shown around Old Aberdeen by Sir Alexander, Boswell went with Professor Gordon to visit first James Riddoch, Gordon's colleague as Minister of Old St. Paul's, and then Mrs Dallas.