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Robert Foulis

Robert Foulis (born 20 April 1707 in Glasgow, died 2 June 1776 in Edinburgh) was a Scottish printer and publisher.

Born as a son of a maltmann, he was apprenticed to a barber, but was encouraged to become a publisher by Francis Hutcheson. He set up a publishing business in 1741 in Glasgow, and in 1742 acquired his own press. He bought type from the renowned type-maker and punch-cutter Alexander Wilson. In 1743 he was appointed printer to the Glasgow University. In the same year he produced the first Greek book published in Glasgow, namely the "De Elocutione" by Demetrius Phalereus.

Soon he went into partnership with his brother, Andrew Foulis. Their press published books in English, Latin, Greek, French and Italian that were noticeable for their quality. Indeed the brothers were sometimes referred to as "the Elzevirs of Britain".

Their publications were famous both for beauty and accuracy; the 554 works they printed included editions of Horace, Homer, Milton, and Thomas Gray. Although the prestige of their typography waned, it nonetheless represented high achievement in a style of the time. Their typefaces, the most enduring of which is Scotch Roman, were designed by Alexander Wilson.

The names of the brothers are often reproduced on title-pages and colophons of their publications in their Latinized form, "Robertus and Andreas Foulis".


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