John Ainslie

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John Ainslie (22 April 1745 – 29 February 1828)[1] was a Scottish surveyor and cartographer.

He was born in Jedburgh, the youngest son of John Ainslie, a druggist, Writer to the Signet and burgess of the burgh[2][3] and was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School.[4] He began his career as an apprentice to the "Geographer to King George III", engraver and publisher Thomas Jefferys and worked as a surveyor and engraver for the English County series of maps.[2] After Jefferys' death he returned to Scotland where he surveyed Scottish counties, engraving and publishing the maps.

From 1787 to 1789 Ainslie worked on a new nine sheet map of Scotland publishing it in 1789.[5] The map was a landmark in the improvement of the outline of Scotland and for the first time showed the Great Glen as a straight line and Skye, Mull, and Islay shown with more accuracy than had previously been seen.[2]

He worked as a surveyor on several civil engineering projects including the Forth and Clyde canal with Robert Whitworth, Charles Rennie on Saltcoats harbour and the Glasgow to Ardrossan canal.[2]

He wrote the standard text for his profession, the "Comprehensive treatise on Land Surveying comprising the Theory and Practice of all its Branches".[1][6]

On 27 October 1776 he married Christian, the daughter and heiress of Jedburgh merchant Thomas Caverhill. He died in Edinburgh on the 29 February 1828 and is buried at Jedburgh Abbey.[2]

Maps[edit]

Many of Ainslie's maps are in the collection of National Library of Scotland including:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "John Ainslie". The Gazetteer for Scotland. The Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Adams, Ian. "Ainslie, John (1745–1828), cartographer and land surveyor". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "A Selection Of Famous Jedburgh People". Jedburgh Official Website. Jedburgh Official Website. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Famous Sons and Daughters". Jedburgh Grammar School. Jedburgh Grammar School. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Ainslie, John (1789). "Scotland, drawn from a series of angles and astronomical observations...". Edinburgh: J. & J. Ainslie & W Faden. Retrieved 5 February 2014. .
  6. ^ Ainslie, John (1812). "Comprehensive treatise on land surveying, comprising the theory and practice in all its branches; in which the use of the various instruments employed in surveying, levelling, &c. is clearly elucidated by practical examples ...". Edinburgh: Printed for S. Doig & A. Stirling. Retrieved 5 February 2014.