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John Robison (1739–1805), FRSE

Photo credit: The Royal Society of Edinburgh

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The son of a Glasgow merchant, Robison was born at his father's estate at Boghall, Stirlingshire. After attending the University of Glasgow he became tutor to the midshipman son of Admiral Knowles. On Knowles' recommendation he was appointed to the Board of Longitude in 1762, but returned to Glasgow in the following year where he formed lasting friendships with James Watt and Joseph Black. When Black was called to Edinburgh, he succeeded him in Glasgow University as lecturer in chemistry.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    124 x 97.5 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    presented by the sitter's son, Sir John Robison, FRSE, 1828


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The Royal Society of Edinburgh

22–26 George Street, Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH2 2PQ Scotland

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