James Donaldson (classical scholar)

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Sir James Donaldson, LLD.
The grave of Chancellor James Donaldson and his family, St Andrews Cathedral churchyard

Sir James Donaldson FRSE LLD (26 April 1831, Aberdeen – 1915), was a Scottish classical scholar, and educational and theological writer.


He was born in Aberdeen on 26 April 1831.

He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, Marischal College, Aberdeen, New College, London, and Berlin University. In 1854 he was appointed Rector of the Stirling High School where he remained for two years, before leaving for the Royal High School of Edinburgh, of which he was appointed Rector in 1866.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1867, his proposer being Alexander Keith Johnston.[1]

He became in 1881 Professor of Humanity in the University of Aberdeen, and in 1890 Principal of the University of St Andrews by the Universities (Scotland) Act.

He was knighted by Edward VII in 1907, and was awarded an LL.D. by the University of Glasgow and an honorary Doctor of Divinity by the University of Aberdeen in recognition of his work in Church history.

He died on 9 March 1915.[2] and is buried with his wife in the churchyard of St Andrews Cathedral. He also has a memorial in the Church of St John the Evangelist, Edinburgh.

Principal works[edit]


Academic offices
Preceded by
Reverend John Tulloch
Principal of the University of St Andrews
Succeeded by
Sir John Herkless

External links[edit]