15 January 1772
|Died||26 January 1833 61) (aged|
|Occupation(s)||Newspaper editor, book printer and theatre critic|
|Relatives|| John Ballantyne (brother)|
George Hogarth (brother-in-law)
R. M. Ballantyne (nephew)
James Ballantyne (15 January 1772 – 26 January 1833) was a Scottish solicitor, editor and publisher who worked for his friend Sir Walter Scott. His brother John Ballantyne (1774–1821) was also with the publishing firm, which is noted for the publication of the Novelist's Library (1820), and many works edited or written by Scott.
James was born in Kelso, Scottish Borders in 1772, the oldest son in a family of successful merchants. He attended Kelso Grammar School where he met Sir Walter Scott for the first time in 1783. Scott lived with his aunt briefly in Kelso when they met. They shared a love of literature. James went on to attend Edinburgh University to study law. He returned to Kelso in 1795 to become a solicitor.  
Although James was not raised in a printing family, he opened a printing office in 1796.  On 13 April 1797, the first edition of the pro-Tory newspaper, The Kelso Mail, was published in which James was also the editor. Due to the newspaper being only weekly, he desired to work with those in the literary field who could use his services on the days he wasn't printing the Mail. In 1799, he begged Scott to write a few paragraphs for the newspaper on legal questions of the day. Scott then persuaded James to publish books as well as newspapers.   That same year, James secretly printed An Apology for Tales of Terror and The Eve of St John, which gave a start to Scott's writing career. This was the beginning of a partnership that would continue until Scott's death in 1832. Impressed with the typographical excellence of the first two published pamphlets, Scott offered James the rights to publish a collection of Border ballads that he had begun collecting. This collection was printed in 1802 as Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border , which garnered great acclaim across England. It brought amazement that such quality printing was being done in such a small town.  After this success, Scott urged James to relocate to Edinburgh.  After training his younger brother, Alexander, to run the Kelso Mail, James moved to Edinburgh in 1803 where he and Scott set up a publishing office that would publish Scott's works.  Alexander would eventually purchase all the rights to the Kelso Mail in 1806. Scott loaned him £500 to help him get started and set up, which he did with two presses. These soon proved to be insufficient and the space too small with the amount of work coming in. He eventually settled his shop in Holyrood in 1805. Due to financial constraints despite the publisher's success, he joined into an ownership agreement with Scott who provided further capital.  They had much success with the publishing of Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel , Marmion and a number of other best sellers.  Ballantyne also printed several of James Hogg's books, beginning with The Mountain Bard (1807). 
In 1815, James married Christina Hogarth, with the condition from her father that he was debt free. Scott relieved James from his debts in return for complete ownership of James Ballantyne and Co. and James would work as a salaried manager. He became theatre critic of the Edinburgh Evening Courant .
In 1817, James, along with his brother-in-law George Hogarth, purchased the Edinburgh Weekly Journal where he acted as editor. His brother, John, was the musical and drama critic while George managed the finances.  
In 1820 he was living at 10 St John Street off the Canongate in Edinburgh's Old Town. 
Following the death of John Ballantyne in 1821, Scott promoted James from manager to personal agent and partner. This led to Alexander Ballantyne taking over the Weekly Journal as editor. While the company flourished, with business from both Scotland and England, and obtained a corner on printing legal stationary and official documents, debts continued to mount. Scott had been borrowing money to build Abbotsford House, his personal residence, instead of putting the money towards their debt.  After this change in circumstance James moved to a new house at 3 Heriot Row: a ground floor and basement house within the end pavilion. 
A collapse of the financial and publishing industries in 1825–26, led to the bankruptcy of Archibald Constable's publishing company, which published Scott's works, and also led to the failure of Ballantyne Press. This left James with responsibility for half of the company's debt, forcing him to sell his family valuables and new home. Scott publicly acknowledged his role in the business and used proceeds from his books to pay for the debts incurred.  The debt was around £120,000. 
Christina died in 1829 leaving James devastated. Scott died on 21 September 1832, followed shortly after by James on 26 January 1833. James's home address at the end of his life was 1 Hill Street in the centre of the city.  Ballantyne Press was taken over by James's son, John Alexander Ballantyne, along with John Hughes. In December 1870, the press moved to Newington due to the growth of Waverley Edinburgh Station.  The company's printing works ceased operations in 1916. 
James and Scott worked together for over 30 years and had a close, yet complex relationship. James played a very big part in the success of Scott as a novelist. Not only did he print all of his works, he would also act as an editor. James would proofread, point out inconsistencies in the text details, fix grammatical and punctuation errors, give the whole work a scrubbing and offer advice on language and style.   James was a personal agent and partner. Scott trusted James to make edits and amendments even throughout the production process. 
Scott nicknamed both brothers, James and John, after characters in Henry Carey's burlesque Chrononhotonthologos . James was called Aldiborontiphoscophornio . 
James is the brother of John Ballantyne, who was his business partner at times. His wife's brother, George Hogarth, was a well-known music critic and writer. He was the uncle, through his younger brother Alexander, of R. M. Ballantyne, Scottish author and artist. His niece, Catherine Hogarth, was the wife of Charles Dickens.
The character Colbert (or 'Sleek Cobby') in John Paterson's Mare, James Hogg's allegorical satire on the Edinburgh publishing scene first published in the Newcastle Magazine in 1825, is based on James Ballantyne. 
Robert Chambers was a Scottish publisher, geologist, evolutionary thinker, author and journal editor who, like his elder brother and business partner William Chambers, was highly influential in mid-19th-century scientific and political circles.
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, was a Scottish historian, novelist, poet, and playwright. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature, notably the novels Ivanhoe (1819), Rob Roy (1817), Waverley (1814), Old Mortality (1816), The Heart of Mid-Lothian (1818), and The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), along with the narrative poems Marmion (1808) and The Lady of the Lake (1810). He had a major impact on European and American literature.
Robert Michael Ballantyne was a Scottish author of juvenile fiction, who wrote more than a hundred books. He was also an accomplished artist: he exhibited some of his water-colours at the Royal Scottish Academy.
John Wilson of Elleray FRSE was a Scottish advocate, literary critic and author, the writer most frequently identified with the pseudonym Christopher North of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.
Archibald David Constable was a Scottish publisher, bookseller and stationer.
James Hogg was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorised biography. He became widely known as the "Ettrick Shepherd", a nickname under which some of his works were published, and the character name he was given in the widely read series Noctes Ambrosianae, published in Blackwood's Magazine. He is best known today for his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. His other works include the long poem The Queen's Wake (1813), his collection of songs Jacobite Relics (1819), and his two novels The Three Perils of Man (1822), and The Three Perils of Woman (1823).
Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey was a Scottish judge and literary critic.
Thomas Aird was a Scottish poet, best known for his 1830 narrative poem The Captive of Fez.
Thomas Pringle was a Scottish writer, poet and abolitionist. Known as the father of South African poetry, he was the first successful English language poet and author to describe South Africa's scenery, native peoples, and living conditions.
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border is an anthology of Border ballads, together with some from north-east Scotland and a few modern literary ballads, edited by Walter Scott. It was first published in 1802, but was expanded in several later editions, reaching its final state in 1830, two years before Scott's death. It includes many of the most famous Scottish ballads, such as Sir Patrick Spens, The Young Tamlane, The Twa Corbies, The Douglas Tragedy, Clerk Saunders, Kempion, The Wife of Usher's Well, The Cruel Sister, The Dæmon Lover, and Thomas the Rhymer. Scott enlisted the help of several collaborators, notably John Leyden, and found his ballads both by field research of his own and by consulting the manuscript collections of others. Controversially, in the editing of his texts he preferred literary quality over scholarly rigour, but Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border nevertheless attracted high praise from the first. It was influential both in Britain and on the Continent, and helped to decide the course of Scott's later career as a poet and novelist. In recent years it has been called "the most exciting collection of ballads ever to appear."
Alexander Bald was a Scottish poet.
The Canongate Kirkyard stands around Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. The churchyard was used for burials from the late 1680s until the mid-20th century.
John Ballantyne (1774–1821) was a Scottish publisher notable for his work with Walter Scott, a pre-eminent author of the time.
George Hogarth WS was a Scottish lawyer, newspaper editor, music critic, and musicologist. He authored several books on opera and Victorian musical life in addition to contributing articles to various publications.
Kelso High School is a state-funded comprehensive secondary school in Kelso, Scotland, under the control of the Scottish Borders Council. It is one of nine secondary schools in the Scottish Borders and the only one in Kelso. Pupils come to Kelso High School from the town of Kelso, the villages of Ednam, Eckford, Stichill, Smailholm, Morebattle, Roxburgh, Yetholm and other hamlets in the surrounding area. The current building was opened to students in November 2017.
The Writers’ Museum, housed in Lady Stair's House at the Lawnmarket on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, presents the lives of three of the foremost Scottish writers: Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Run by the City of Edinburgh Council, the collection includes portraits, works and personal objects. Beside the museum lies the Makars' Court, the country's emerging national literary monument.
William Blackwood and Sons was a Scottish publishing house and printer founded by William Blackwood in 1804. It played a key role in literary history, publishing many important authors, for example John Buchan, George Tomkyns Chesney, Joseph Conrad, George Eliot, E. M. Forster, John Galt, John Neal, Thomas De Quincey, Charles Reade, Margaret Oliphant, John Hanning Speke and Anthony Trollope, both in books and in the monthly Blackwood’s Magazine.
Thomas Constable FRSE was a Scottish printer and publisher.
The Spy was a periodical directed at the Edinburgh market, edited by James Hogg, with himself as principal contributor, which appeared from 1 September 1810 to 24 August 1811. It combined features of two types of periodical established in the 18th century, the essay periodical and the miscellany. As an outsider, Hogg used his periodical to give a critical view of the dominant upper-class culture of Edinburgh, with Walter Scott and Francis Jeffrey as its leading lights, and to launch his career as a writer of fiction as well as poetry.
Familiar Anecdotes of Sir Walter Scott, a memoir by James Hogg, was published in New York in 1834.