Beattie, James, poet and writer on philosophy, was born at Laurencekirk, October 25th, 1735. After graduating at Marischal College, Aberdeen, he became schoolmaster successively at Fordoun and the Aberdeen grammar school, becoming in 1760 Professor of Moral Philosophy in Marischal College. In 1770, after one or two volumes of poems, appeared his celebrated Essay on Truth, which acquired the reputation of having overthrown Hume's scepticism, and led to the offer of many honours. He is chiefly remembered now, however, as the author of The Minstrel, the first part of which appeared in 1771, and the second in 1774. After publishing several volumes of essays and dissertations of a religious and philosophical nature, he died at Aberdeen, August 18th, 1803.