Eben William Robertson

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Eben William Robertson by Sir William Charles Ross.

Eben William Robertson (17 September 1815 – 3 June 1874) was a British historian.


Robertson was born near the Leicestershire- Derbyshire border at Netherseale,[1] into a wealthy landowning family. He was a distant relative of 18th century Scots historian and academic William Robertson. He attended Worcester College, Oxford, and received legal training at Lincoln's Inn.[2]

His father died in 1852 and Robertson succeeded to the family's estates. As a legally trained landowner and gentleman, he was active in local administration, first as a justice of the peace. In 1862, he was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant[3] of Leicestershire, and in 1870, he became High Sheriff of Derbyshire.[4] Robertson was married to Isabella Colgrave in 1838. They had one son and two daughters.

He is best remembered as a historian of medieval Scotland. His 1862 work Scotland under her early Kings (2 volumes) was well regarded. He published a collection of essays, Historical Essays in connexion with the Land, the Church, etc. in 1874.

In 1874 Robertson was injured attempting, unsuccessfully, to save his two nieces from a fire. Soon after he caught cold and died after a painful illness.


  1. ^ National Galleries of Scotland
  2. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1896). "Robertson, Eben William". Dictionary of National Biography. 48. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 404. 
  3. ^ "No. 22593". The London Gazette. 28 January 1862. p. 451. 
  4. ^ "No. 23584". The London Gazette. 7 February 1870. p. 721. 

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Honorary titles
Preceded by
George Henry Strutt
High Sheriff of Derbyshire
Succeeded by
Charles Rowland Palmer Morewood