Robert Foulis

1707 - 1776

Printer and publisher. Born in Glasgow, the son of a brewer and elder brother of Andrew Foulis (1712-75). Beginning as a book-seller, Foulis went on to create, with his brother, the Foulis Press, one of the most significant printing firms of the 18th century. They were appointed printers to the University of Glasgow (1743). He was known for the quality of his printing work, producing well-known editions of the classics, including the 'immaculate' Horace, so-named because it contained so few misprints. Many of their original books can be found in Glasgow's Mitchell Library.

In 1753, the brothers opened Foulis Academy, one of the first modern schools of art and design, founded fifteen years before the Royal Academy in London. It was accommodated within the University and supported by many prominent citizens of Glasgow. Unfortunately the venture lost money and closed in 1775, the year before Foulis died, leaving him in deeply debt.

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