Thomas Ruddiman

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Ruddiman, 1749 Thomas Ruddiman.jpg
Ruddiman, 1749
The grave of Thomas Ruddiman, Greyfriars Kirkyard The grave of Thomas Ruddiman, Greyfriars Kirkyard.jpg
The grave of Thomas Ruddiman, Greyfriars Kirkyard

Thomas Ruddiman (October 1674 – 19 January 1757) was a Scottish classical scholar.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.



He was born on a farm near Boyndie, three miles from Banff in Banffshire, where his father was a farmer. [1]

Boyndie village in United Kingdom

Boyndie is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Banffshire Historic county in Scotland

Banffshire is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of Scotland.

He was educated locally then studied at the University of Aberdeen. Initially from 1695 he was schoolmaster in Laurencekirk [2] Then in 1700, through the influence of Dr Archibald Pitcairne, he became an assistant in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. He founded (1715) a successful printing business, and in 1728 was appointed printer to the University of Edinburgh. He acquired the Caledonian Mercury in 1729, and in 1730 was appointed keeper of the Advocates' Library, resigning in 1752.

University of Aberdeen university in Aberdeen, Scotland

The University of Aberdeen is a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is an ancient university founded in 1495 when William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of James IV, King of Scots to establish King's College, making it Scotland's third-oldest university and the fifth-oldest in the English-speaking world. Today, Aberdeen is consistently ranked among the top 200 universities in the world and is ranked within the top 30 universities in the United Kingdom. In the 2019 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, Aberdeen was ranked 31st in the world for impact on society. Aberdeen was also named the 2019 Scottish University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Laurencekirk town

Laurencekirk is a small town in the historic county of Kincardineshire, Scotland, just off the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen main road, which bypassed it in 1985. It is administered as part of Aberdeenshire. It is the largest settlement in the Howe o' the Mearns area and houses the local secondary school; Mearns Academy, which was awarded the Charter Mark in 2003.

Archibald Pitcairne Scottish physician

Archibald Pitcairne or Pitcairn was a Scottish physician.

He is buried at Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh. The monument was erected in 1801 by his relative, Dr William Ruddiman. [3] It stands in the north-west section of the graveyard.

Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland

Greyfriars Kirkyard is the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located at the southern edge of the Old Town, adjacent to George Heriot's School. Burials have been taking place since the late 16th century, and a number of notable Edinburgh residents are interred at Greyfriars. The Kirkyard is operated by City of Edinburgh Council in liaison with a charitable trust, which is linked to but separate from the church. The Kirkyard and its monuments are protected as a category A listed building.


He was married to Anna Smith (1694-1769). [4]

His nephew Walter Ruddiman (1719–1781) also from Banff, similarly established a successful business in Edinburgh as a printer and publisher.

Walter Ruddiman was a Scottish printer, publisher and newspaper proprietor based in Edinburgh. Born in Alvah, near Banff, in the North-East of Scotland, he was the youngest son of the farmer James Ruddiman and nephew of the printer, scholar and librarian Thomas Ruddiman (1674–1757) whose business was also based in Edinburgh. Walter Ruddiman moved to Edinburgh sometime shortly after 1745 and was eventually admitted as a burgess of the city on 11 September 1754. Around the same time he also married Janet Bradefute with whom he had four children, Thomas, John, Walter and Janet.


His main early writings were editions of Florence Wilson's De Animi Tranquillitate Dialogus (1707), and the Cantici Solomonis Paraphrasis Poetica (1709) of Arthur Johnston (1587–1641), editor of the Deliciae Poetarum Scotorum. On the death of Dr Pitcairne he edited his friend's Latin verses, and arranged for the sale of his valuable library to Peter the Great of Russia.

Florentius Volusenus was a Scottish humanist most noted for his De Animi Tranquillitate. "Florentius Volusenus" is a latinization of uncertain derivation; his first name is variously suggested as Florence or Florens, and surname as Wolson, Wolsey, or Wilson. In his letters written in English he refers to himself as Volusene.

Arthur Johnston (c.1579–1641) was a Scottish poet and physician. He was born in Caskieben near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire. His father, Sir George Johnston, was an Aberdeenshire laird, and his mother Christian Forbes was the daughter of the seventh Lord Forbes.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

In 1714 he published Rudiments of the Latin Tongue, which was long used in Scottish schools. In 1715 he edited, with notes and annotations, the works of George Buchanan in two volumes folio. As Ruddiman was a Jacobite, Buchanan's liberal views invited his criticism. A society of scholars was formed in Edinburgh to "vindicate that incomparably learned and pious author from the calumnies of Mr Thomas Ruddiman"; but Ruddiman's remains the standard edition, though George Logan, John Love, James Man and others attacked him with vehemence.

Other works were: An edition of Gavin Douglas's translation of Virgil's Aeneid (1710), with an extensive Older Scots glossary; the editing and completion of James Anderson's Selectus Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotiae Thesaurus (1739); Catalogue of the Advocates' Library (1733–42); and a famous edition of Livy (1751). He also helped Joseph Ames with his Typographical Antiquities.

Ruddiman was for many years the representative scholar of Scotland. Writing in 1766, Dr Johnson, after reproving James Boswell for some bad Latin, significantly adds--"Ruddiman is dead." When Boswell proposed to write Ruddiman's life, "I should take pleasure in helping you to do honour to him", said Johnson.

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  1. Grants Old and New Edinburgh
  2. Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland: The Caledonian Society of Scotland
  3. Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland: The Caledonian Society of Scotland
  4. Inscription on tomb