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.