When it was launched in September 2013, this site presented information from a preliminary survey of teachers and students of natural law in Scotland in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries collected in from August 2012 to September 2013.
This page will record significant updates and changes to the site as it is developed. It is hoped that the site will be updated frequently.
14 January 2014
Links to ‘Northern Lights: The Scottish Enlightenment’ (an educational resource curated by the National Library of Scotland) added for James Beattie, Adam Ferguson, and Adam Smith.
14 May 2014
New links to online books added for James Beattie, Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid, and George Turnbull.
Natural Law in Scotland, 1625-1850
John W Cairns
Website Author and Manager
Natural Law 1625-1850: An International Research Project
These pages are designed to provide an introduction to the vast resources about the teaching of natural law in Scotland from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. It offers brief biographical information about teachers and students of natural law and moral philosophy and, where possible, free links to manuscripts and texts related to them.
The Timeline attempts to put natural law teaching in Scotland into an international context by including key texts published outwith Scotland (including London) which were influential there. General Scottish works of law are also included.
This site is very much a work in progress and records vary in their completeness. More material will be added including enhanced biographical and bibliographical information and more links to online resources. This site is based preliminary report which will be made more complete over the next few months. The material here was originally collected for a meeting of ‘Natural Law, 1625-1850: A European Project’ held in Copenhagen in October 2012.
Links to subscription services have been avoided: the material linked to here should be accessible to all users wherever they are.
I will maintain an Updates page to highlight the addition of new information and I hope to provide new information and links once a month.
Dr Karen Baston
Edinburgh Law School
University of Edinburgh
*This site is best viewed in Firefox.
And let the books put into their hands for teaching or improving them in languages, be such chiefly as have human affairs and duties for their subjects, such as Cicero’s books of laws and offices, & c. and after them Justinian’s Institutes, and we shall soon find youth qualified to read with understanding, any of the best writers on natural law or on politics.
George Turnbull, Observations upon Liberal Education in all its Branches (London: A Millar, 1742), pp. 380-81
This site was created with the support of Edinburgh Law School’s Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) in 2012-2013.