James Gordon ca.1708-1755

From Book Owners Online

James GORDON ca. 1708-1755

Biographical Note

Dr. James Gordon of Pitlurg, Hilton, and Straloch, Aberdeenshire, was the son of Dr. John Gordon of Collieston and Margaret Dowall and was born circa 1708. He graduated M.A. from Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1724, and matriculated as a student of medicine at the University of Leiden on 12 May 1728. He was appointed Professor of Medicine at Marischal College on 6 June 1734, serving in that post until his death. In the 1740s and 1750s he subscribed to a number of books published by subscription in Scotland, notably Alexander Gordon of Achintoul’s History of Peter the Great (Aberdeen, 1755). He married Barbara Cuming, daughter and heiress of Robert Cuming of Birness, and died in September 1755.


His testament dative and inventory is very brief and contains no mention of his library. A number of his books can, however, be found in public collections, including Georgius Bertinus’s Medicina libris viginti methodice absoluta (Basel, 1587) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, F 10.7, Thomas Browne’s ‘’Pseudodoxia Epidemica’’ (London, 1669) at Aberdeen University Library BCL B6026, and Virgil’s Opera (Leiden, 1680) in the rare books collection at Sherborne School, all with his characteristic bookplates therein.

Characteristic Markings

He used two Jacobean armorial bookplates (Franks 12276 and 12277) of which the former was the plate of his grandfather Alexander with the inscription altered.


  • Information provided by Dr Kelsey Jackson Williams
  • Album studiosorum academiae Lugduno Batavae, MDLXXV-MDCCCLXXV. The Hague: apud Martinum Nijhoff, 1875. col. 916.
  • Kellas Johnstone, James Fowler. Fasti Academiae Mariscallanae Aberdonensis, 3 vols. Aberdeen: Printed for the New Spalding Club, 1889-1898. ii. 55, 299.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Temple, William. The Thanage of Fermartyn. Aberdeen: D. Wyllie & Son, 1894. 310.
  • NRS CC1/6/36A/9180-9181 (testament dative of Dr. James Gordon of Pitlurg).