James Cathcart White (1852-1943)

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Advocate and bibliophile

James Cathcart White graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in 1873. He was admitted to the Scottish Bar in 1875, and was Father of the Bar when he died, unmarried. He was a noted bibliophile and book collector, and bequeathed to the University a collection of about 340 volumes which, at the time, was compared to the bequest by David Laing (1793-1878) in 1878. It included a number of beautifully illuminated medieval manuscripts (mostly books of hours, French and English, from the C14 and C15) and early printed books on classical and modern literature, law, history, heraldry and medicine; these included the first book printed in Venice as well as the first Bible printed in Venice, and a unique copy of an Edinburgh printing of Douglas' "Encouragements for the warres of France" (1627) together with a sum from which an endowment fund has been created for the purchase of further rare books and manuscripts.

All or some of the text on this page originally appeared in the Gallery of Benefactors