Robert Johnston (c1567-1639)

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Historian

Johnston was the son of an Edinburgh burgess, and graduated MA in 1587, the first class to graduate from the new College of Edinburgh. He went on to gain a doctorate in civil and canon law from another university, probably abroad, and spent most of his life in London as Clerk of the Deliveries of Ordnance. At his death he left a MS history of Scotland and England which was posthumously published as "Historia Rerum Britannicarum 1572-1628" (Amsterdam, 1655), parts of it having already been published in English in Edinburgh. A friend of George Heriot, he bequeathed £1,000 for the maintenance of eight poor scholars in the College of Edinburgh, and 172 books for the College Library: "Item thair is left to the colledge of Edinburgh certan law bookis and buiks of historie, as also hes ordaynit his Italian, frensch and spanish books to be chainged foe uthers to be sent to the said colledge". A list of the books, printed by James Bryson, College Printer in 1641, is pasted into the larger volumes.

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