John Anderson's Note to Professor Wilson, Regarding Consulting the Faculty

Author(s): Anderson, Professor John


The Defrs have now submitted to your [deps] the grounds of
their conduct in the cases complained of: or they have laid open, to use
the language of the Pursr, that system of tyranny and oppreſsion
which they have carried on against him for many years past. Frivolous
and groundleſs, they are persuaded, these complaints must now appear
to your Lordships; but they have been productive of real evils to the
Defenders. They have been made use of as instruments for [traducing]
their characters as men, and for injuring the credit and interests of the
society to which they belong. Your Lordships, probabily till this time
unacquainted with the peculiar art and industry which this pursuer
has long practised, may justly be surprises to find, that a mere difference
of opinion about conferring degrees, about extracts and statutes
of the College, or even that paſsing a slight censure upon him for
conduct unacademical in the highest degree, should have been made
the occasion of rebellion among the students, of appeals to the tradesmen
and day-labourers in Glasgow and its neighbourhood, of an application
to the Throne, and lastly of a proceſs before your Lordships for
damages estimated by the Pursuer at no leſs a sum than 6 or 7000£.
But your Lordships will be still more astonished to learn, that the
Pursuer by his aſsiduity, his intrigues and cabals, and by the ground leſs
and exaggerated pictures which he drew of his own ſufferings, and of
the persecutions that were carried on against him, obtained such an
ascendency over the paſsions of the lower ranks in Glasgow, that during
the short time the delusion lasted, the defenders could hardly appear on
the streets without meeting with some marks of their displeasure.

Your Lordships will also observe that from the manner in which
the Pursuer managed his attacks, the defenders had no means of stopping
or interrupting the current of abuse that bore down upon them. To enter
into a defence of their own conduct before such judges as the mob of
Glasgow, or to retaliate upon the aggreſsor and his abetters in their
own way by paragraphs, squips and advertisements in the news-papers,
& abusive hand-biols, would have been a mode of defence derogatory to themselves,
and would probably have afforded the Pursuer the very gratification
he most earnestly desired. They accordingly submitted with patience
to the calumnies and reproaches that were vented against tehm, in the persuasion
that the temporary delusion of the multitude would soon be
over, though not without fear that it would not end without some
daring act of outrage.

Upon one occasion,m indeed, when the Trades house of Glasgow,
influenced by the misrepresentations of the Pursuer had
made a strange and unwarrantable attack upon the College in a
News-paper, the Principal in name of the Defenders protested against
them. Upon this occasion too the ordinary [visitors] of the College thought
it their duty to interpose, and in a paper, remarkable in the midst of
such provocation for its [¿] and moderation, contradicted some
of the strange allegations by which the people had been hood-winked,
and which they knew, from what

had occurred to them in the exercise of their office to be false and
groundleſs. The Principal's Protest occasioned a long and scurrilous
invective against the members of the College, about which they have given
themselves no concern, though they can now easily trace out its author.
The paper written by the Visitors brought upon them the vengeaonce of
the Pursuer in a manner still more unguarded and unqualified,
and for his conduct towards them he has been obliged to answer,
in another proceſs now depending before your Lordships.

The Defenders humbly hope, that after fully considering the
merits of this cause, your Lordships [¿] by the same views with
his Majesty and his Ministers, will not only refuse the conclusions
of the libel, but will also, by your sentence, discourage such frivolous
and imaginary complaints, and secure the defenders from being again
exposed to similar injuries to their characters and interests, and prevent
the neceſsity of their being obliged hereafter to spend so much of their
time and of the public funds in vexatious lawsuits, and in combating
the restleſsneſs and turbulence of the Pursuer.


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John Anderson's Note to Professor Wilson, Regarding Consulting the Faculty. 2021. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved November 2021, from

MLA Style:

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The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, s.v., "John Anderson's Note to Professor Wilson, Regarding Consulting the Faculty," accessed November 2021,

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The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. 2021. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


John Anderson's Note to Professor Wilson, Regarding Consulting the Faculty

Document Information

Document ID 573
Title John Anderson's Note to Professor Wilson, Regarding Consulting the Faculty
Year group 1750-1800
Genre Administrative prose
Year of publication 1787
Place of publication Glasgow, Scotland
Wordcount 715

Author information: Anderson, Professor John

Author ID 201
Title Professor
Forenames John
Surname Anderson
Gender Male
Year of birth 1726
Place of birth Rosneath, Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Occupation Academic
Father's occupation Clergyman
Education University
Locations where resident Glasgow
Other languages spoken Latin