Robertson, William (1721-93), Scotch historian, was educated at Edinburgh, and entered the ministry, being presented with the living of Gladsmuir, in East Lothian, in 1743. He was known as an eloquent preacher, but devoted most of his time to the study of history, and in 1759 published his History of Scotland, which is a well-written work and one of the best of its kind. It ran through 14 editions during his life. He received several important appointments, including that of historiographer-royal, in 1764. He was not, perhaps, so zealous in the cause of religion as might be expected, and was on intimate terms with some notable sceptics. His other important works are his History of Charles V. (1769), and his History of America (1777).