Critical Dissertations on the Origin, Antiquities, Language, Government, Manners, and Religion, of the Ancient Caledonians, Their Posterity the Picts, and the British and Irish Scots.

  • Macpherson, John
  • London: Printed for T. Becket and P.A. De Hondt 1768
  • ESTC T96376.


SKU: 5594 Category: Tag:


FIRST EDITION, 4to, pp. xxiv, [ii], 382, [2, ads]. Contemporary calf, spine divided by raised bands between double gilt rules, red morocco label, edges sprinkled red. Just a touch of spotting, a marginal wormtrail to first few gatherings. A little rubbed and marked, rear joint split, cords holding, rear flyleaf excised. Armorial bookplate of the Earls of Findlater to pastedown, partially obscuring an ink shelfmark.


The most significant work of John Macpherson (1713-1765), antiquary and minister on Skye. Published posthumously under supervision of his son, it found much praise among contemporaries, though Johnson dismissed it - not the only similarity it shares with the Ossian poems. Macpherson had met James Macpherson (no relation) in 1760, and their shared interest in Celtic antiquities led to an intermingling of their work: John provided old documents and leads during the hunt for Ossian material, while James adapted portions of this text into his later historical writing.
This copy comes from the library of one of the Earls of Findlater - either James Ogilvy, 6th Earl (1714-1770) or his son James (1750-1811), 7th and last Earl.

Location & Opening Times

3a & 4a Haddington Place, Edinburgh, EH7 4AE

Opening Hours

Open seven days a week, 11am - 5pm

On Thursdays late night opening until 8pm