Foul's, Andrew And Robert
greek glasgow printed
FOUL'S, ANDREW and ROBERT, two learned Scotch printers and publishers, whose enterprise and devotion to the interests of the higher education deserve to be gratefully remembered. Robert, the elder of the two, was born in 1707, and his brother in 1712. Their father was a maltman in Glasgow, and they consequently had very ordinary opportunities for intellectual culture in their early years. Robert was apprenticed to a barber ; but his ability attracted the attention of Dr Francis Hutchison, who strongly recommended him to establish a printing press. After spending 1738 and 1739 in England and France in company with his brother Andrew, who had been intended for the church and had received a better education, he started business about 1740-1, and in 1743 was appointed printer to the university. In this same year he brought out Demetrius Phalereus, the first Greek book ever printed in Glasgow ; and this was soon followed by the famous 12mo edition of Horace which was long but erroneously believed to be immaculate : though the successive sheets were suspended in the university and a reward offered for the discovery of any inaccuracy, six errors at least, according to Dibdin, escaped detection. Soon afterwards the brothers entered into partnership, and they continued for about 30 years to issue carefully corrected and elegantly printed editions of classical works in Latin, Greek, English, French, and Italian. Upwards of 500 separate publications proceeded from their press - among the more noticeable being the small editions of Cicero, Tacitus, Cornelius Nepos, Virgil, Tibullus and Propertius, Lucretius, and Juvenal; a beautiful edition of the Greek Testament, in small 4to ; Homer, 4 vols. fol., 1756-1758 ; Herodotus, Greek and Latin, 9 vols. 12mo, 1761 ; Xenophon, Greek and Latin, 12 vols. in 12mo, 1762-1767 ; Gray's Poems ; Pope's Works ; Milton's Poems. The brothers spared no pains, and Robert went to France to procure manuscripts of the classics, and to engage a skilled engraver and a copper-plate printer. Unfortunately it became their ambition to establish an institution for the encouragement of the fine arts ; and though one of their chief patrons, the earl of Northumberland, warned them to "print for posterity and prosper," they spent their money in collecting pictures, pieces of sculpture, and models, in paying for the education and travelling of youthful artists, and in copying the masterpieces of foreign art. Their countrymen were not ripe for such an attempt, and the " Academy " not only proved a failure but involved the projectors in ruin. Andrew died in 1775, and his brother went to London, hoping to realize a large sum by the sale of his pictures. They were sold for much less than lie anticipated, and he returned broken-hearted to Scotland, where he died at Edinburgh in June 1776. The debts of the firm amounted to S6500. Robert was the author of a Catalogue of Paintings with Critical Remarks, 3 vols.
See W. J. Duncan, Notices and Documents illustrative of time Literary History of Glasgow, printed for the Maitland Club, 1831, which inter alia contains a catalogue of the works printed at the Foulis press, and another of the pictures, statues, and busts in plaster of l'aris produced at the Academy" in the university of Glasgow.