OTD 15 January 1826

Found­ed in Kel­so in 1796, James Bal­lan­tyne was found­ed in Kel­so in 1796. Archibald Con­sta­ble, Scot­t’s pub­lish­er, com­mis­sioned Bal­lan­tyne to print his Min­strel­sy of the Scot­tish Bor­der, which led to the fir­m’s move to Edin­burgh in 1802. After set­ting up near Holy­rood, they moved to Foulis Close in the Canon­gate before set­tling in Paul’s Work, north back of Canon­gate, at the foot of Cal­ton Hill.
Ballantyne’s had a good rep­u­ta­tion for high qual­i­ty work and com­bined this with a very large out­put of books: Scott’s Waver­ley was a great suc­cess and brought the Paul’s Work plant to capac­i­ty pro­duc­tion. The rela­tion­ship between Bal­lan­tyne, Scott and Con­sta­ble was too close, how­ev­er, and when Constable’s col­lapsed in 1826 both James Bal­lan­tyne and Scott were also bankrupted.