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Thomas (Tommy) Arthur Nelson


1877 - 1917

Publisher. Born in Edinburgh into a publishing dynasty, he was the son of Thomas Nelson (1822-92). He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and University College, Oxford. He was successful on the rugby field at university and went on to play for Scotland. He joined the family business with his brother Ian and led it into the 20th C. introducing a number of innovations. In 1906, he brought in author and long-standing friend John Buchan (1875 - 1940) as a partner. They developed the company's business model of producing books for the popular market and extended it internationally into different languages.

Nelson inherited the Achnacloish Estate (Argyll and Bute).

During the First World War he served as a Captain in the Lothian and Border Horse and was three times mentioned in despatches. Nelson was killed at Arras and lies buried nearby at Faubourg D'Amiens War Cemetery.


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