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In Aedibus Academicis
The Glasgow University Press

A selection of books from the printers of the University of Glasgow. Devised for the 2008 celebration of 500 years of Scottish printing.

Introduction | 17th Century | 18th Century|19th Century | 20th Century

George Anderson (fl. 1637-1647)

Detail from title-page of Bh12-f.8

George Anderson set up the first press in Glasgow in 1638, at the invitation of the Town Council and the University. He printed two items that year.

Anderson had previously been a printer in Edinburgh where he had undertaken a considerable amount of work for the Church of Scotland. After his move to Glasgow, he produced many works for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which provided a steady source of income for him. Much of his output was also University related. Although he was never officially appointed as University printer, the accounts record at least one payment to him in 1638 - for 33 pounds, 6 shillings and 8 pence.

Anderson was particularly encouraged by Zachary Boyd (1585?-1653), who was for some time the Vice Chancellor. He printed several of his works.

Active in Glasgow until 1647 when he died, Anderson's business was inherited by his widow. She returned to Edinburgh, although for several years following occasional books were issued from her press - the "heirs of George Anderson" - with the imprint "Printed at Glasgow" (including another work by Zachary Boyd). She was succeeded by her son, Andrew Anderson, in 1653.



Bh12-f.8: title-page

Bh12-f.8: opening of text

Bh12-f.8: final page

The Protestation of the Generall Assemblie of the Church of Scotland, and of the noblemen ... and commons; subscribers of the Covenant, lately renewed, made in the High Kirk, and at the Mercate Crosse of Glasgow, the 28 and 29 of November 1638
Glasgow: Printed at Glasgow by George Anderson, in the Yeare of Grace 1638
Sp Coll Bh12-f.8

This is a tract that argues against the proclamation of 29 November 1638 dissolving the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The text was written by Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston.

BD1-i.48 (vol. 1): title-page

BD1-i.48 (vol. 1): p. 108

Zachary Boyd The garden of Zion: wherein the life and death of godly and wicked men in Scriptures are to be seene, from Adam unto the last of the Kings of Judah and Israel, with the good uses of their life and death
Printed at Glasgow by George Anderson, 1644
Sp Coll BD1-i.48-49 (2 vols)

Boyd had several religious works printed by the new Glasgow press, both in prose and metrical verse. This is a collection of his verse.

He left a substantial amount of money, as well as his library, to the University. Some of this money was to go towards new buildings, but a substantial amount was earmarked "for printing of my works". However, these manuscripts were never published.

Mu36-h.32: binding

Mu36-h.32: title-page

Mu32-h.32: opening pp. 147-148

John Row Chilias Hebraica: seu, vocabularium continens praecipuas radices linguae Hebraeae, numero 1000 ... item rudimenta pietatis Hebraïcè descripta cum interpretatione
Glasguae Excudebat Georgius Andersonus, Anno Christogonias M.DC.XLIV. [1644]
Sp Coll Mu36-h.32

This Hebrew grammar and vocabulary, showing the roots of Hebrew words, was the first book printed in Scotland to use Hebrew type. Its 18th century binding is of a Scottish herringbone design made up of "turnip" shaped tools.

Andrew Anderson (fl. 1653-1676)

Detail of imprint from BE6-e.24

Glasgow was left without a printer for several years following the return of Mrs Anderson to Edinburgh. Eventually her son and heir, Andrew Anderson, was persuaded to re-establish a press in Glasgow.
For this, the city would pay him annually "the soume of ane hundreth merkis Scottis money". Anderson settled in Glasgow in 1657. His salary for 1660, however, was not paid and he therefore returned to Edinburgh in 1661. Here he continued to work, being appointed as printer to the town and college in 1663, and as King's printer for Scotland in 1671 - this gave him a virtual monopoly in printing certain kinds of books such as Bibles. The quality of his work is questionable, however: in 1671, he was ordered by the Privy Council of Scotland to withdraw an edition of the New Testament on account of its many errors; this was not to be reissued until corrected. Meanwhile, Robert Baille (1599-1662), the Principal of the University of Glasgow, complained during this period of Latin books being "exceedingly ill done" and resorted to sending his own works to Holland to be printed.

Ak-e.61: title-page

Sylvester Rattray Aditus novus ad occultas sympathiae et antipathiae causas inveniendas per principia philosophiae naturalis, ex fermentorum artificiosa anatomia hausta, patefactus
Glasguae, excudebat Andreas Anderson, Anno Dom 1658
Sp Coll Ferguson Ak-e.61

This work was one of the first to be printed by Andrew Anderson in Glasgow. Sylvester Rattray (fl. 1650–1666) was a doctor and medical writer.

BE6-e.24: title-page

An ceud chaogad do shalmaibh Dhaibhidh, ar a dtarring as an eabhra, a meadar dhana gaoidhilg, le seanadh earraghaoidheal. Neoch a dorduigh an seinm a neaglaisaibh, agus a dteaghlichaibh, a ghnathuigheas an chanamhain sin is na criochaibh ceudna
Do chuireadh so a Glasgow: Andrew Anderson, 1659
Sp Coll BE6-e.24

According to MacLehose, a University imprint appeared for the first time on a graduation thesis printed by Andrew Anderson in 1659 - no copy has been found in Special Collections.

This volume contains Gaelic versions of the First Fifty Psalms of David and the Shorter Catechism. Although both dated 1659, there is no association with the University in either imprint.

Robert Sanders, the Elder (fl. 1656-1694)

Bi3-l.11: detail of decorative letter 'u' from page 1

Robert Sanders was the eldest son of James Sanders, a Glasgow stationer. He was appointed as a printer by the town soon after Andrew Anderson's departure to Edinburgh in 1661. He was to be paid regular sums of money in return for producing "gratis any thing short the toune shall imploy him to print". Like his father, Sanders was also a bookseller and bookbinder.

Having been appointed as printer to the town in 1662, Sanders was describing himself as "Urbis et Universitatis Typographus" (Printer to the City and University) some ten years later. There is some conjecture as to exactly when he was made University printer. He is styled as "Urbis & Univers. Typographus" in one book dated 1667, but MacLehose speculates that this is a misprint and suggests that 1672 is more likely to be the real date of his appointment.

Sanders printed books regularly for the University until 1683. In this year, he manouevred himself into becoming one of His Majesty's printers by purchasing from George Swinton his share in the Royal patent to print in Scotland. This followed years of battling with Andrew Anderson and his widow and heirs over this lucrative privilege. Unfortunately, however, the dispute went on, diverting Sanders from his work: according to MacLehose, it "seriously affected" the output of the University press.

Mu42-a.11: binding

Jean Calvin The institution of Christian religion
Imprinted at London by Anne Griffin, for Joyce Norton, and R. Whitaker, 1634
Sp Coll Mu42-a.11

This volume was published before Sanders took up printing but it is interesting as an example of his binding work. A manuscript note inside this volume records that it was bound by him at Glasgow in 1660.

Bi3-l.11: title-page

Bi3-l.11: page 1

Sylvester Rattray Prognosis medica, ad usum praxeos facili methodo digesta
Glasguae, excudebat Robertus Sanders, Typographus Urbis. M.DC.LXVI [1666]
Sp Coll Bi3-l.11

Another work by the medical writer Sylvester Rattray. At this point, Sanders is still just describing himself in the imprint as the City's printer. The manuscript inscription on the title-page records that is was bought for the University Library in 1699.

Mu47-e.26: title page

Mu47-e.26: leaf 2r

Thomas Bell Roma restituta
Glasguae, excudebat Robertus Sanders, Urbis & Academiae Typographus. M.DC.LXXII. [1672]
Sp Coll Mu47-e.26

This is the first work definitely known to have been printed by Sanders with a University imprint. It is a book about the administration and customs of classical Rome. The final page contains a list of corrections to the text: an early reader in this copy has gone through the book and made the necessary changes, adding a note "correcta sunt".

RB 3024: title-page

William Dyer Christ's famous titles, and a believer's golden chain. Handled in divers sermons
Glasgow, by Robert Sanders, Printer to the City and University, and are to be sold, in his shop, 1678
Sp Coll RB 3024

This collection of evangelical religious tracts has been noted for its radical statements. According to the imprint, Sanders both printed the volume and sold the text in his bookshop.

Robert Sanders, the Younger, of Auldhouse (fl. 1694-1730)

MS Gen 38: detail of print ornament and author's dedicatory inscription

Robert Sanders "the younger" succeeded his father in 1694. He inherited his "unbound books, and materials for printing" and his mother inherited the bound volumes. They quarrelled after Mrs Sanders had much of the stock hastily bound up so that she could claim it under the terms of the will. Sanders also inherited the disputed patent to print; he continued to describe himself as one of his Majesty's printers until about 1706, as well as occasionally using the University imprint.

By the end of the 17th century, the University Printer was an official appointment, with accommodation being provided in the College. The books published during this period were marred by poor workmanship, however, and have generally been derided for their inaccuracies and bad presswork. MacLehose states that Sanders the younger "did not add to, nor even sustain, the moderate reputation as a printer which his father had made".  Another writer1 remarks that "printing was now, and for some years afterwards, in the lowest state in Scotland".

MS Gen 38: title-page

Calendarium Lunae perpetuum
Glasguae, excudebat Robertus Sanders, unus è Regiis Typographis, & prostant apud Biblioplas ibidem; pretium libri in schdis 8, asses scot. Anno Dom. 1699.
Sp Coll MS Gen 38

This printed calendar is shelved in our manuscripts sequence as it has further tables, sermons and other documents in manuscript appended to it by John McCaull. McCaull studied at the University of Glasgow and was a minister of the Church of Scotland at Withern (1712-1741). This book was presented to him by the author in 1702.

Mu39-f.6: title-page

John Toldervy The foot out of the snare
Printed at London, and reprinted at Glasgow, by Robert Sanders, Printer to the City, & University, & are to be sold in his shop, 1679
Sp Coll Mu39-f.6

MacLehose states that this reprint is one of "many books, most of them small and unimportant" issued by Sanders the Younger.

Bf73-e.34: title-page

Bf73-e.34: list of candidates

John Loudon Theses philosophicae
Glasguae, Ex Typographaeo Roberti Sanders. M. DCC. VIII. [1708]
Sp Coll Bf73-e.34

At this time graduation theses were disputed in open debate. This pamphlet lists the candidates who were examined on 21 May 1708 before John Loudoun (d. 1750). Loudoun was a Regent in the Faculty of Arts (1699-1727) and later Professor of Logic (1727-1750) at the University.

Go to next section: the 18th Century

1 W. J. Duncan Notices and documents illustrative of the literary history of Glasgow, during the greater part of last century Glasgow: Maitland CLub, 1831 (p. 3; quoted by MacLehose).