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John Ballantyne


1774 - 1821

Printer and publisher, born in Kelso. He was the younger brother of James Ballantyne (1772 - 1833), returned from London to Edinburgh's Canongate Close to join the printing firm which his brother had set up to print the works of Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832). While business was brisk, the firm constantly suffered financial problems. The bankruptcy of Constables, Scott's publisher, saddled the Ballantynes and Scott with a £100,000 debt, which Scott generously agreed to repay through writing. It was the stress of this work which brought about Scott's untimely death.

Both John Ballantyne and his brother are buried in the Canongate Kirkyard.


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