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.