A notice from 1827 reveals certain privileges that were available if:
- Your name was STEWART
- Your surname was SIMPSON
- You were a Highlander acquainted with the Gaelic language
These seem to be the only criteria on offer in terms of access to bursaries. Cash-strapped students could also, with favourable recommendation from their parish Minister, be awarded Gratis Tickets.
Andrew Brown (1763-1834), who issued this notice and was Dean of Faculty, was born at Biggar, in 1763. He was educated at Glasgow University then he entered the Church and was ordained minister of the Scottish Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1787. Brown returned to Scotland in 1795 and held charges in Lochmaben and at New Greyfriars and Old St. Giles’ in Edinburgh.
In 1801 he became Regius Professor of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres at Edinburgh University, a post first offered to Sir Walter Scott who turned it down. His appointment proved to be a disaster however, for he was more interested in North American history than in literature and during his term of office the subject he was appointed to teach declined. He made no literary contribution and as a lecturer he was uninspired. He died in 1834.