A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Pinkerton, John
PINKERTON, John (1758-1826).—Historian and Antiquary, b. in Edin., was apprenticed to a lawyer, but took to literature, and produced a number of works distinguished by painstaking research, but disfigured by a controversial and prejudiced spirit. His first publication was Select Scottish Ballads (1783), some of which, however, were composed by himself. A valuable Essay on Medals (1784) introduced him to Gibbon and Horace Walpole. Among his other works are Ancient Scottish Poems (1786), Dissertation on the Goths (1787), Medallic History of England (1790), History of Scotland (1797), and his best work, Treatise on Rocks (1811). One of his most inveterate prejudices was against Celts of all tribes and times. He d. in obscurity in Paris.