Adam Smith (1723-1790)

Adam Smith (1723-1790)

Moral philosopher and political economist

Adam Smith studied moral philosophy under Francis Hutcheson. He was appointed Professor of Logic at Glasgow University in 1751, changing to the professorship of Moral Philosophy in 1752. His first major work, 'Theory of Moral Sentiments' was produced in 1759. A well-paid tutoring post to the 3rd duke of Buccleuch, allowed him to see contintental Europe and meet Voltaire, Turgot, and Quesney. He devoted ten years to completion of his most famous work, 'Inquiry into the Nature of Wealth of Nations', which was published in 1776 and sold out within six months. His ideas on economic freedom, division of labour, and the function of markets in a local and worldwide context led to the creation of the discipline of political economy.

Birth in 1723

Adam Smith was baptised on 5 June 1723, the son of Adam Smith and Margaret Douglas. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Kirkcaldy gives the names of the parents, children and witnesses in separate columns.

Baptism entry for Adam Smith

Baptism entry for Adam Smith in the OPR for Kirkcaldy (13 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 442/2, page 69

Death in 1790

Adam Smith was buried on 22 July 1790. The entry in the Old Parish Register for Canongate states that he was aged 68 years and died of a decay. He was interred in his own burial place.

Burial entry for Adam Smith
Burial entry for Adam Smith in the OPR for Canongate (9 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-3/23

Testament of Adam Smith

(National Records of Scotland, CC8/8/128/2 pp 1109-1116)

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