Person NameAnderson; John (1726-1796); professor of Oriental Languages and Natural Philosopy
Epithetprofessor of Oriental Languages and Natural Philosopy
ActivityJohn Anderson (1726-1796), natural philosopher, was born at Roseneath, Dumbartonshire, the son of the minister of Roseneath. He was educated in Stirling and then became an officer in a corps raised to resist the rebellion of 1745. Anderson then studied in Glasgow where he became Professor of Oriental Languages, 1756, and then Professor of Natural Philosophy, 1760. In 1759 he designed the fortifications for the defence of Greenock. In 1791 his cannon design was ignored by the English government so he travelled to Paris and offered it to the National Convention. He also devised a plan for sending French newspapers into Germany via balloons.

Anderson left his apparatus, library etc for the foundation of an educational institution in Glasgow which was to be called Anderson's University. Funds were raised by subscription and it opened in 1796. It began by teaching natural philosophy and chemistry and eventually expanded to become what is today the University of Strathclyde. Anderson's publications include, 'Institutes of Physics' (1786); 'Observations upon Roman Antiquities lately discovered' (1800).
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