Category Archives: 1750-1799

Timeline: Natural Law in Scotland, 1750-1799

Publication, Appointment, Lecture, or Other Event
1751 Thomas Reid, regent at Aberdeen (-1764)
1751 Adam Smith uses Hutcheson’s Philosophiae moralis institution compendaria, ethicis & jursiprudentiae naturalis elementa continuen while covering for the ill Thomas Craigie
1751 Henry Home, ‘Of the foundations and principles of the law of nature’ in Essays on the principles of morality and natural religion (Essay changes title in 3rd edn to ‘Foundation and principles of morality’)
1751 Andrew MacDowell (later Lord Bankton), An institute of the laws of Scotland in civil rights: with observations upon the agreement or diversity between them and the laws of England. In four books (Edinburgh)
1751 Hugo Grotius, Samuel Clark, and John Locke, Synopsis compendiaria librorum Hugonis Grotii de jure belli et pacis: Samuelis Clarkii de dei existentiâ et attributis, et Joannis Lockii de intellectu humano (Cambridge, Oxford, London, Edinburgh)
1752 Adam Smith, professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow (-1764)
1752 J J Burlamaqui, The principles of politic law: being a sequel to The principles of natural law, tr Mr Nugent (London)
1753 Francis Hutcheson, A short introduction to moral philosophy, in three books: containing the elements of ethicks and the law of nature (2nd edn, Glasgow)
1754 David Fordyce, Elements of moral philosophy (London); based on his ethics lectures
1754 Thomas Rutherforth, Institutes of natural law: being the substance of a course of lectures on Grotius de Jure belli et pacis (Cambridge)
1755 Francis Hutcheson, A system of moral philosophy (Glasgow)
1756 Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, Jo. Gotl. Heineccii, jurisconsulti et antecessoris, elementa philosophiae rationalis, ex principiis admodum evidentibus justo ordine adornata. Praemissa est historia philosophica (Edinburgi: apud G. Hamilton & J. Balfour Academiae Typographos)
1758 David Hume proposes Adam Smith as Regius Professor at Edinburgh but nothing comes of it; Adam Ferguson proposed but nothing comes of it (Cairns, ‘First’*)
1759 Adam Smith, The theory of moral sentiments (London and Edinburgh)
1759 Robert Bruce, Regius Professor at Edinburgh (-1764); Advertises ‘Course of Lectures upon GROTIUS DE JURE BELLI AC PACIS’
1760 Hugonis Grotii de jure belli ac pacis librorum III compendium in usum studiosae juventutis Academiae Edinensis (Edinburgh)
1760 Faculty of Advocates recommends attendance at courses in natural law for candidates
1760 James Beattie, Professor of moral philosophy and logic at Marishal College (-1797)
1761 John Millar, Regius professor of civil law at Glasgow (-1801)
1762 Candidates for admission to the Faculty of Advocates to be examined ‘upon the Law of Nature & Nations’
1764 James Balfour, Regius Professor at Edinburgh (-1779); advertised classes but not successful as a treacher – rising competition John Millar at from Glasgow Law School
1764 Thomas Reid, professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow (-1780)
1765 Glasgow: ‘Millar turned the second of the annual courses on the Institutes into a presentation of natural jurisprudence modelled on the theory of his mentor, Adam Smith’ (Cairns, ‘First’*); recommended Cocceji and Heineccius
1766 Adam Ferguson, Analysis of pneumatics and moral philosophy (Edinburgh)
1769 Adam Ferguson, Institutes of Moral Philosophy for the Use of Students in the College of Edinburgh (Edinburgh)
1773 John Erskine, An institute of the law of Scotland. In four books. In the order of Sir George Mackenzie’s Institutions of that law (Edinburgh)
1779 Allan Maconochie, Regius Professor at Edinburgh (-1796); change in natural law from Grotian rationalism to exploration of human nature (Cairns, ‘First’*)
1780 Allan Maconochie, Mr [sic] Maconochie advocate, professor of public law, proposes to open his class next winter. The intended course will treat of the history and principles of universal and political law, according to the following arrangement (Edinburgh)
1780 Archibald Arthur, professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow (-1797); lectures on natural jurisprudence
1786 John Bruce, Elements of the science of ethics, on the principles of natural philosophy (London; Edinburgh)
1788 Thomas Reid, ‘Of systems of natural jurisprudence’ in Essays on the active powers of man (Edinburgh), pp. 387-94
1790 William Laurence Brown (1755-1830) professor of natural law at Utrecht
1790 James Beattie, Elements of Moral Science (London) [natural law does not feature much]
1790s Francis Horner studies natural law texts as a student
1792 Adam Ferguson, Principles of moral and political science (Edinburgh)
1792 William Druthin, ‘On a course of reading’ in The Bee (ed. James Anderson), vol. 8, p. 128: ‘Natural law, and moral philosophy – Paley’s principles of moral and political philosophy; or Berlamaqui’s natural and political law, (translated by Nugent,) or Rutherford’s institutes of natural and political law.’ (Edinburgh)
1793 Dugald Stewart, Outlines of Moral Philosophy for the Use of Students in the University of Edinburgh
1793 William Laurence Brown, An essay on the natural equality of men; on the rights that result from it, and on the duties which it imposes: To which a Silver Medal was adjudged by the Teylerian Society at Haarlem, April 1792. Corrected and enlarged. By William Lawrence Brown, D. D. Professor Of Moral Philosophy, And The Law Of Nature, And Of Ecclesiastical History; And Minister Of The English Church At Utrecht (Edinburgh)
1796 Robert Hamilton, Regius Professor at Edinburgh (-1831) but may not have ever taught
1797 Robert Heron, Abstract of a course of lectures on law, natural and positive (Edinburgh)
1799 James Mackintosh, A discourse on the study of the law of nature and nations (London; repr. Edinburgh, 1835)
1799 Helvétius, The true meaning of the system of nature: translated from the French (Glasgow)

*For references, see the Site Bibliography.