Beattie, James Hay (DNB00)


BEATTIE, JAMES HAY (1768–1790), son of Dr. James Beattie, author of the 'Minstrel", was born in Aberdeen on 6 Nov. 1768. Having received the rudiments of his education at the grammar school of his native city, he was entered, in his thirteenth year, as a student in Marischal College. From the first he showed premature capacity. He took his degree of M.A. in 1786. In June 1787, when he was not quite nineteen, on the unanimous recommendation of the Senatus Academicus of Marischal College, he was appointed by the king 'assistant professor and successor to his father' in the chair of moral philosophy and logic. Although very young, he fulfilled the requirements of his position. He was studious and variously cultured, being especially devoted to music. But his career was destined to be brief. On 30 Nov. 1789 he was prostrated by fever. He lingered in 'uttermost weakness' for a year, and died 19 Nov. 1790, in his twenty-second year. In 1794 his heart-broken father privately printed his 'Remains' in prose and verse, and prefixed a 'Life.' The book was published in 1799.

[Beattie's Life of his son.]

A. B. G.