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Sir James Donaldson


1751 - 1830

Publisher and philanthropist. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a bookseller. Donaldson was a successful publisher and printer, based in Edinburgh's Castle Hill, running the Edinburgh Advertiser and making a considerable sum of money. He maintained houses on Princes Street and at Broughton Hall, where he died. He left his entire estate, amounting to some £210,000, to found Donaldson's Hospital as a school for the care and education of poor children. His relatives were convinced that this incredible generosity represented insanity and unsuccessfully tried to challenge his will. The hospital was begun in 1833 and opened in 1851, with the resolution that deaf children should be particularly encouraged. Today Donaldson's College is a major centre for deaf education and services.

Donaldson was buried in St John's churchyard (Princes Street).


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