Andrew Tait - Organist at Aberdeen

Name
Andrew Tait
First name
Andrew
Last name
Tait

Died 1778
Gender
0
Biography

Long-time organist of St Paul's Chapel, Aberdeen. In 1748, he founded the Aberdeen Musical Society, and he is the reputed composer of several psalm tunes, including St Paul and When Languor and Disease Invade.

In 1766, Tait was the winning party in a case decided by the Court of Sessions, which was reported by Boswell's friend Lord Hailes. According to the court documents, a Mr. John Sligo possessed a shop in Aberdeen, belonging to Andrew Tait. Tait informed Sligo of his intention to disposess him of the shop on Whitsunday 1766, leaving possession of the shop to a Mr Byres instead. Sligo then took Byres's old shop as well as intending to remain in the shop belonging to Tait, claiming that he had received no formal warning to remove from the premises. The court decerned in the removing, but apparently Boswell's father, Lord Auchinleck, dissented, stating that "Warning is as necessary in boroughs as in the country. When the proprietor supposes that the tenant will go away willingly, he uses no warning. If he is mistaken in this supposal, the tenant will sit."1

Life with Boswell

On August 22, 1773, Boswell went with Dr Johnson and the local Professor Thomas Gordon to the English Chapel in Aberdeen, writing in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides that "[w]e found a respectable congregation, and an admirable organ, well played by Mr Tait."

Thomas Gordon - Professor of Humanity at Aberdeen

Name
Thomas Gordon
First name
Thomas
Last name
Gordon
Born 1714
Died March 11, 1797
Gender
0
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. In 1783 he was one of the co-founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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. They went together to the English chapel, which Boswell described as "a respectable congregation, [with] an amirable organ." After this, they walked to the shore together, and Gordon appears to have spent most of the day accompanying them around the town.

Adam Glegg - Merchant at Montrose

Name
Adam Glegg
First name
Adam
Last name
Glegg
Born 1726
Date of birth (prefix)
abt.
Place of birth
in Marykirk

Died June 01, 1807
Date of death (prefix)
abt.
Place of death
in London
Gender
0
Alias
Mr. Gleg
Biography

Merchant and sometime four-time provost of Montrose for a total of 22 years. Possibly the son of John Gleig (1654-1737) and Isobel ? (1683-1761). 

Adam Glegg married (1757) Anne Smith (1738-1811) with whom he had seventeen (!) children.1

Life with Boswell

Boswell wrote in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides that on August 21, 1773, he and Dr Johnson "met Mr Gleg, a merchant here [in Montrose]. He went with us to see the English chapel." The identifiation of "Mr. Gleg" with Adam Glegg is likely if not absolutely certain.

James Walker - Minister of Leuchars

Name
James Walker
First name
James
Last name
Walker

Died December 23, 1773
Gender
0
Biography

Son of Alexander Walker of St Fort and Jean Fleming. He was presented as Minister to the Parish of Leuchars, north of St Andrews, on August 15, 1732. In 1740 he married Katherine Montgomery, a sister of Robert Montgomery, who served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh 1756-1758.

Life with Boswell

Boswell and Dr Johnson stopped by Leuchars on their journey from St Andrews to Montrose on August 20, 1773, having noticed the church tower from the road. Boswell wrote, in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides:

The manse, as the parsonage-house is called in Scotland, was close by. I waited on the minister [James Walker], mentioned our names, and begged he would tell us what he knew about it. He was a very civil old man; but could only inform us, that it was supposed to have stood eight hundred years. He told us, there was a colony of Danes in his parish; that they had landed at a remote period of time, and still remained a distinct people. Dr Johnson shrewdly inquired whether they had brought women with them. We were not satisfied as to this colony.

Walker, referred to by Boswell only as a very civil old man, died just a few months after their visit.

Research
https://archive.org/stream/fastiecclesiaesc05scot#page/222/

John Nairne - Lieutenant Colonel

Name
John Nairne
First name
John
Last name
Nairne

Died November 07, 1782
Gender
0
Alias
Colonel Nairne
Biography

Lieutenant Colonel. Son of John Murray (d. 1770), 3rd Lord Nairne, and Catherine Murray (1692-1754).

Nairne married (abt. 1756) Brabazon (d. 1801), daughter of Richard Wheeler of Leyrath.

Life with Boswell

On August 20, 1773, Boswell and Johnson went with Professor Andrew Shaw to see Colonel Nairne's garden and grotto, a feature in St Andrews, now long since lost. Boswell described it as follows, in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides:

Here was a fine old plane tree. Unluckily the colonel said, there was but this and another large tree in the county. This assertion was an excellent cue for Dr Johnson, who laughed enormously, calling to me to hear it. He had expatiated to me on the nakedness of that part of Scotland which he had seen. His Journey has been violently abused, for what he has said upon this subject. But let it be considered, that, when Dr Johnson talks of trees, he means trees of good size, such as he was accustomed to see in England; and of these there are certainly very few upon the EASTERN COAST of Scotland. Besides, he said, that he meant to give only a map of the road; and let any traveller observe how many trees, which deserve the name, he can see from the road from Berwick to Aberdeen. Had Dr Johnson said, 'there are NO trees' upon this line, he would have said what is colloquially true; because, by no trees, in common speech, we mean few. When he is particular in counting, he may be attacked. I know not how Colonel Nairne came to say there were but TWO large trees in the county of Fife. I did not perceive that he smiled. There are certainly not a great many; but I could have shewn him more than two at Balmuto, from whence my ancestors came, and which now belongs to a branch of my family.

 

The grotto was ingeniously constructed. In the front of it were petrified stocks of fir, plane, and some other tree. Dr Johnson said, 'Scotland has no right to boast of this grotto: it is owing to personal merit. I never denied personal merit to many of you.' Professor Shaw said to me, as we walked, 'This is a wonderful man: he is master of every subject he handles.' Dr Watson allowed him a very strong understanding, but wondered at his total inattention to established manners, as he came from London.

James Craig - Architect of Edinburgh's New Town

Name
James Craig
First name
James
Last name
Craig
Born October 31, 1739
Place of birth
in Edinburgh

Died June 23, 1795
Gender
0
Biography

Architect. James Craig was the son of merchant William Craig (1695-1762) and Mary Thomson (1710-1790).

In 1759, Craig was apprenticed to the Incorporation of Wrights and Masons in Edinburgh. He was discharged in 1765 without sitting his exam and formally entering the incorporation, and instead set himself up as an architect. In 1766, Craig entered the competition to plan the New Town of Edinburgh, intended to ease overcrowding in the Old Town (the medieval Royal Burgh of Edinburgh). His scheme won the competition and was formally adopted by the town council in July 1767.  Construction began soon afterwards, and continued until five years after Craig's death with the completion of Charlotte Square in 1800. 

Craig also worked for several other towns in Scotland, designing St Andrew's Church in Dundee in 1769, as well as doing various work in Glasgow from 1781 until 1792. 

Craig never married. He died in 1795 and was buried in the family plot at Greyfriars in Edinburgh. 

Life with Boswell

Craig was a contemporary of Boswell's, being of almost the same age (Craig being one year older than Boswell). Both were born in Edinburgh, and they died within a few months of each other in the Summer of 1795. They moved in the same circles, and Sir William Forbes was a close friend and confidante to both of them.

On August 19, 1773, Craig dined with Boswell and Dr Johnson at the house of Dr Robert Watson in St Andrews. He is known to have worked on refurbishing St Salvator's and St Leonard's colleges in St Andrews at the time, which explains his presence in the town. Boswell described the occassion in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides as follows:

We all went to Dr Watson's to supper. Miss Sharp, great grandchild of
Archbishop Sharp, was there; as was Mr Craig, the ingenious architect
of the new town of Edinburgh, and nephew of Thomson, to whom Dr
Johnson has since done so much justice, in his Lives of the Poets.

.

Andrew Shaw - Professor of Biblical Criticism

Name
Andrew Shaw
First name
Andrew
Last name
Shaw
Born 1700
Died November 27, 1779
Gender
0
Alias
Professor Shaw
Biography

Professor of Biblical Criticism. Andrew Shaw was born ca. 1700, the son of Alexander Shaw, Minister of Edinkillie, and Grizzel Munro.

Shaw served as Minister to St Madoes from 1729 until 1740, when he was appointed Professor of Biblical Criticism at St Mary's College, University of St Andrews. He was, at some point, tutor to the Balmanno family.

Life with Boswell

Shaw breakfasted with Boswell and Dr Johnson in St Andrews on August 20, 1773, during which Boswell took out his copy of Ogden on Prayer and read some of it to the company. After breakfast, they went together to see "Colonel Nairne's garden and grotto". 

In his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, Boswell mentions how Shaw said of Dr Johnson, that he was a "wonderful man: he is master of every subject he handles." Johnson later returned the compliment, telling Boswell that he "took much to Shaw."

George Hadow - Professor of Oriental Languages

Name
George Hadow
First name
George
Last name
Hadow
Born July 04, 1712
Died September 11, 1780
Gender
0
Alias
Professor Haddo
Biography

Professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages. Hadow was the son of James Hadow (1667-1747), a longtime principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews, and Margaret Forrester. 

George Hadow was educated at St Andrews from where he obtained his M.A. in 1731 and his M.D. in 1740. He held the position as Professor of Oriental Languages at St Mary's College from 1748 until his death in 1780.

Hadow was married (1754) to Susanna Scott, with whom he had several children.

Life with Boswell

Boswell and Johnson dined with Hadow (referred to by Boswell as Haddo) and several other professors at the University of St Andrews on August 19, 1773. In the afternoon, Hadow walked with them. Also present was Dr Watson, at whose house they had lodged the previous night.

James Murison - Principal of St Mary's

Name
James Murison
First name
James
Last name
Murison
Born 1700
Died July 30, 1779
Gender
0
Biography

Murison was born in 1700, the son of James Murison, minister at Garvock.

In 1721, he obtained his M.A. from King's College, Aberdeen, and in 1729 he was presented as Minister to the parish of Edzell. In 1743, he transferred to the parish of Kinnell, before, in 1747, being appointed Principal of St Mary's College at the University of St Andrews.

Life with Boswell

Boswell and Johnson visited Principal Murison (as he then were) at St Mary's College at St Andrews on August 19, 1773, on the first leg of their tour of Scotland. Boswell wrote of the occassion that "[the college has] a good library-room; but the principal [Murison] was abundantly vain of it, for he seriously said to Dr Johnson, 'you have not such a one in England'."

Robert Watson - Historian and Principal at St Andrews

Name
Robert Watson
First name
Robert
Last name
Watson
Born 1730
Died March 31, 1781
Gender
0
Alias
Dr. Watson
Biography

Minister and historien. Robert Watson was born in St. Andrews, the son of Andrew Watson, an apothecary, brewer and sometime Provost of St. Andrews, and Jean Walker. He studied at St. Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh, before becoming licensed as a preacher.

Initially failing to be presented to one of the churches in St. Andrews, he was instead, in 1756, appointed Professor of Logic, Rhetoric and Metaphysics at the United College of St. Andrews (created in 1747 as a merger between the "old" colleges of St Leonard and St Salvator). He held this position from 1756 until 1778, when he was appointed Principal of the college, succeeding Thomas Tullideph (1770-1777). In that same year he was also presented to the parish of St Leonard.

He is best known for his magnum opus, the "History of Phillip II of Spain" (1777), which gained great contemporary popularity and was praised by Horace Walpole and John Stuart Mill.

Robert Watson was married (1757) to Margaret Shaw, with whom he had five children, all daughters.

Life with Boswell

Boswell and Johnson lodged at Dr Watson's at St Leonard's College in St Andrews on August 18-19, 1773, on the first leg of their tour of Scotland. They were introduced to Watson by William Nairne in the morning of the 19th, and Boswell, in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, described him as a "a well-informed man, of very amiable manners."

Later that day, Boswell and Johnson dined with Watson and several other professors at a local inn, and in the evening, they supped at Watson's together with a "Miss Sharp, great grandchild of Archbishop Sharp" and "Mr Craig, the ingenious architect of the New Town of Edinburgh."

Literature

Original copies of Watson's History of the Reign of Phillip II are usually available via AbeBooks.