OTD 19 January 1757

Thomas Ruddiman was born near Banff in 1674, son of a farmer, and was educated at the local grammar school and at Aberdeen University. After a period as a private tutor, and as the schoolmaster at Laurencekirk, he moved to Edinburgh in 1700 to become the assistant librarian at the Faculty of Advocates. He was a keen scholar, and began to proofread for local publishers, and his own scholarly editions of earlier works were published. His most famous work, Rudiments of the Latin Tongue was first published in 1714 and ran to 15 editions.
The following year, Thomas and his brother Walter, who had been trained as a printer, went into business together. From 1724 the Ruddimans took over the printing of The Caledonian Mercury, acquiring ownership of the title in 1729. In 1718, Thomas Ruddiman took an active part in forming a literary society and in 1728 he was appointed printer to the College of Edinburgh. Two years later he became Keeper of the Advocates Library: he remained in post despite Jacobite sympathies until 1752, when his sight began to fail. He died on 19 January 1757, and is buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, where there is a memorial tablet.