John Pinkerton, a Scottish author, born in Edinburgh in February, 1758, died in Paris, March 10, 1826. He was intended for the law, but settled in London in 1780 as a literary man. He published "Rimes" (1781); " Seleot Scottish Ballads " (2 vols. 8vo, 1783), many of the pieces being of his own composition; an "Essay on Medals " (2 vols., 1784); " Letters on Literature, by Robert Heron" (1785); "Ancient Scottish Poems" (2 vols., 1786), published from the manuscript collections of Sir Richard Maitland; "Dissertation on the Origin and Progress of the Scythians or Goths " (1787); and "Inquiry into the History of Scotland preceding the Reign of Malcolm III." (2 vols., 1789). His "History of Scotland from the Accession of the House of Stuart to that of Mary" (2 vols. 4to, 1797) is the most accurate history of the period. After the death of his patron Walpole he published "Walpoliana" (2 vols., 1799). Among his remaining works are the "Medallic History of England to the Revolution" (4to, 1790); " Iconographia Scotica" (4 parts 4to, 1794-'7); " Modern Geography digested on a New Plan " (2 vols. 4to, 1802); "Recollections of Paris in the Years 1802-'5 " (2 vols., 1806); " General Collection of Voyages and Travels " (17 vols. 4to, 1808-14), with maps and more than 200 engravings; and "Petralogy, or a Treatise on Rocks" (2 vols. 8vo, 1811). In addition to these he edited three volumes of scarce Scottish poems, Barbour's "Bruce," "Lives of Scottish Saints," etc.

The last 22 years of his life were passed in Paris, where he died in indigent circumstances. His literary correspondence was edited by Dawson Turner (2 vols. 8vo, London, 1830).