Adam Black

1784 - 1874

Publisher. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a master-builder, Black was educated at the High School in the city and the University of Edinburgh. Having been a bookseller's apprentice, he set up the company of Adam and Charles Black with his nephew to sell books in 1807. They began publishing in 1817 and Black was able to purchase the rights to the Encyclopaedia Britannica following Archibald Constable's bankruptcy in 1826. He was also able to secure the rights to Sir Walter Scott's novels in 1854.

Black served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh (1843-8) and as Liberal Member of Parliament for the city (1856-65). He is buried in Warriston Cemetery and is remembered by a statue in East Princes Street Gardens (1877).

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