Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

W. R. Scott

The bio below comes from a published article and may now be dated.

William R. Scott (1868-1940) earned his M.A. at Trinity College, Dublin and D.Phil at St. Andrews. He taught at St. Andrews beginning 1896 and from 1900 to 1915 as Lecturer in Political Economy, and then moved to Glasgow to become the Adam Smith Professor of Political Economy (1915-1940). In 1940 J.H. Clapham (Economic Journal 50: 347-51) wrote: “By the quite unexpected death of W. R. Scott in his seventy-second year, the Royal Economic Society loses an Ex-President and a Vice-President, the Economic History Society its President, Glasgow the Adam Smith Professor, the British Academy its Treasurer, several other societies a high and valued officer, and his friends one whose sheer goodness and integrity of character were as conspicuous as his learning, his industry and his public spirit. … Scott wrote the most massive book of research in economic history of our time. … the three big, packed volumes of The Constitution and Finance of English, Scottish and Irish Joint-Stock Companies to 1720 (1910-12). Manuscripts of all sorts and widely scattered, a most impressive multitude of pamphlets and early newspapers, with all the usual historians’ sources, were used … His Adam Smith as Student and Professor (1937) contained … biographical detail of many sorts, with new evidence on the growth of Smith’s thought … I have spoken of his modesty and his goodness. To watch Scott at work with some difficult character was a lesson in patience and applied morality … He was deeply affectionate; had the strongest family feeling and for many years a home life that was above every other thing to him.”