Wilson, Alexander (1714-1786)

Scottish type-founder and professor of astronomy.

Worked as a surgeon-apothecary’s assistant in London (1737-39). Established a type- foundry in St. Andrews (1742), and later in Camlachie, near Glasgow (1744). Provided type for the Foulis brothers, printers to the University of Glasgow; created Greek type for the Foulis edition of Homer (1756-58) and double pica cut for the quarto edition of Gray’s Poems (1768). First professor of practical astronomy at the University of Glasgow (1760-84). Published papers on sunspots and gravitation while continuing to operate the type-foundry in partnership with his sons. Founding member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Son of Patrick Wilson of St. Andrews. Educated at St. Andrews (M.A. 1733).