The Glasgow-born Foulis brothers played a major role in the intellectual Enlightenment of Glasgow.
Robert, born in 1707 and Andrew, in 1712, were sons of Andrew Faulds, a barber and brewer (they changed their name to Foulis in 1738 after a trip to Europe).
Robert trained as a barber in 1720 but later attended the university where he studied under his mentor, moral philosopher Francis Hutcheson.
Andrew studied Humanity but their interest in classical books led to a tour of Europe in 1738, returning with a large quantity, which they sold in London.
In 1741, Robert opened a bookshop at the university, 10 years before John Smith founded his famous shop. Hutcheson encouraged Robert into printing.
The Foulis Press started in 1742, producing mainly very high quality classical and literary publications.
The following year, he was appointed printer to the university and with Andrew they established an international reputation, especially for publishing classics.
Roberts interest in the arts led to a trip to Europe in 1751 where he purchased many masterpieces.
These helped establish his university arts academy in 1753 but lack of funds resulted in the academy dying with Robert in 1776, a year after Andrew's death.
Andrew's son, also called Andrew, kept the Foulis Press going until financial difficulties forced its closure in 1800.
The brothers were buried at the Ramshorn Kirk old cemetery but now lie outside, marked by a cross and the initials RF and AF on the pavement.

Back to Famous Scots Index please.




Take me back


Please send notice of any broken links or design faults to