Charles Morthland
mid 1600s to 1744
Lived in Scotland?

Born: mid 1600s and died 1744.
Son of: Not known.
Brother of: Not known
Charles married: Robina Morthland (nee Brisbane), daughter of Matthew Brisbane.
Charles and Robina had issue:
1. Matthew Morthland who married Anna Simson (1720-1802)
2. Possibly others


Charles Morthland: An Overview

We know very little about Charles Morthland except for that family records indicate that he was a Professor?  There are a number of letters written by a Charles Morthland to John Stirling, in the Special Collection of the Library of the University of Glasgow (http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/index.html).  The author of these letters is presumbably the same Charles Morthland.

The following note has been supplied by Alexander Stewart, Hon. Research Professor in the History of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen.

Charles Morthland was professor of Oriental Languages (which in effect means Hebrew) at the University of Glasgow from 1709 till his death in 1744. It was a famously scandalous appointment, because he had been a country schoolmaster and was appointed to the university position without adequate qualifications and sent to the Netherlands for a year to learn his profession at the University of Utrecht. The length of his tenancy of the position is probably more a sign that he wasn't academically distinguished than that he was, because those of his successors who were of any eminence academically went on into other positions in other disciplines within a few years of appointment. He did publish a Hebrew textbook but is better known to historians for the considerable part he played in academic politics within the university. If he married a Brisbane, she would be some relation of Thomas Brisbane, professor of Anatomy and Botany from 1720 till his death in 1742. Brisbane's was another scandalous appointment. He spent his time cultivating his garden for botanical specimens, and refused to teach anatomy, since he was nervous at the sight of blood. Soon after his appointment the university tried, without much success, to discipline the medical students who staged protests.

 

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