UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH: FOOTNOTES


1.     The background information on Edinburgh University in this paragraph is mostly drawn from Chapters 1 and 2 of AG Fraserís The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989).

2.     AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), p.129.  During the 1800s this shortfall amounted to several hundred pounds a year.

3.     According to G Beard, The Work of Robert Adam, (John Bartholomew, 1978), p.229, Robert Adam matriculated (passed the entrance examination) and entered "the College" on 1st November 1743.  He left in 1745 after a serious illness (M Sanderson, Robert Adam and Scotland: Portrait of an Architect, (Scottish Record Office and HMSO, 1992, p.17).

4.     AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.58-9.

5.     For Robertsonís campaign for the rebuilding of the University buildings, including his Memorial relating to the University of Edinburgh, see AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.89-94.

6.     Records of the Senatus of the University, quoted in AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), p.95.

7.     It is often suggested that Adam was superseded in public taste in England after the firmís near-bankruptcy in 1772 over the Adelphi scheme, and that during the final years of his life his practice was largely confined to Scotland, but it is easy to exaggerate the situation.  The number of his commissions fell during the late 1770s and early 1780s, but this can largely be attributed to the recession in the building world because of uncertainty resulting from the American Wars of Independence.  His practice picked up once again during the late 1780s, and Adamís obituary in The Gentlemanís Magazine, March 1792, pp.282-283, states that at his death he had in hand as many as eight public works and no fewer than twenty-five private commissions, the majority of both in Scotland, but nevertheless still with a comfortable practice in England, even if he no longer retained the dominant position he had held there during the 1760s and early 1770s.

8.     Letter from Robert Adam to Thomas Kennedy of Dunure, John Adamís son-in-law, dated 3rd October 1789, in National Monument Record of Scotland.  Quoted in M Sanderson, Robert Adam and Scotland: Portrait of an Architect, (Scottish Record Office and HMSO, 1992), p.113.

9.     The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Vol. 3, plates XIII, XIV, XV.  The Adam brothers published the first part of Volume One of this book in 1773, not least as an attempt to re-establish their reputation with the public after the damaging crisis over The Adelphi development.  Volume One was published as a complete volume in 1778, and Volume Two in 1779.  A third volume was intended and the plates for it were printed, but it was not published during the lifetime of either brother.  The loose plates were bought after their deaths, bound up without any introductory text, and were sold in 1822 as Volume Three.  The book has been reproduced in various facsimile editions over the years.  The edition published in 1975 by Academy Editions comprises the contents of all three volumes, including all of the plates, with an introductory essay by Robert Oresko.  The important point here is that Robert Adam considered that his designs for the University were worthy of inclusion in the extra volume which he obviously intended to publish himself.

10.   For this episode, see AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.96-7.

11.    Letter from Robert Adam to Thomas Kennedy of Dunure, John Adamís son-in-law, dated 3rd October 1789, in National Monument Record of Scotland.  Quoted in M Sanderson, Robert Adam and Scotland: Portrait of an Architect, (Scottish Record Office and HMSO, 1992), p.113, in which he states "ÖWe are assured of having a very liberal aid from Government next YearÖ"

12.    AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.100-101.

13.    AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.151 and 317.  Adam was said to have referred to the First Courtyard as "a well" and to have included the cross-range only because of the need to provide extra accommodation to house the professors.

14.    This summary of the progress of construction between 1789 and 1793 is based on the much more detailed account by AG Fraser in The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.114-120.

15.    AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.42-3.  The accommodation was extended in 1783 by the erection of a gallery.

16.     Quoted in AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), p.117.

17.     In the Spring of 1795, it was calculated that 11,000 people in Edinburgh depended upon private or public charity to get enough to eat.  Later that year, the figure had risen to 16,000 (AJ Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, 1750-1840, (Edinburgh University Press, 1966 and 1988), pp.255 and 130, quoting Henry Cockburn in both cases).  These figures should be compared to Edinburghís population of under 80,000 in 1789 (AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), p.1).

18.     AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), p.121.

19.     AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.139-40.

20.     This account of William Playfairís completion of Adamís University buildings relies heavily on Chapters six and seven of AG Fraserís The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989).

21.    The north range was actually built in this way before the design of the south range was finalised, but even in his competition designs of 1816, Playfair proposed only two storeys in his library in the south range.  Despite Fraserís comment that the intention was "to replace the old-fashioned Adam designs [for the north elevation of the courtyard] with a crisper, more fashionable, style of architecture" (AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), p.228), it is likely that Playfairís intentions for the south range played a significant role in the decision to alter the design.

22.    AG Fraser, The Building of Old College, (Edinburgh University Press, 1989), pp.288-92.

23.    The sketch is discussed more fully in relation to the Viaduct over the Lower Calton, which forms its principal subject.  The sketch is in Sir John Soaneís Museum, Volume 2, Drawing 50.