John Ritchie Findlay - Encyclopedia

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JOHN RITCHIE FINDLAY (1824-1898), Scottish newspaper owner and philanthropist, was born at Arbroath on the 21st of October 1824, and was educated at Edinburgh University. He entered first the publishing office and then the editorial department of the Scotsman, became a partner in the paper in 1868, and in 1870 inherited the greater part of the property from his great uncle, John Ritchie, the founder. The large increase in the influence and circulation of the paper was in a great measure due to his activity and direction, and it brought him a fortune, which he spent during his lifetime in public benefaction. He presented to the nation the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, opened in Edinburgh in 1889, and costing over £70,000; and he contributed largely to the collections of the Scottish National Gallery. He held numerous offices in antiquarian, educational and charitable societies, showing his keen interest in these matters, but he avoided political office and refused the offer of a baronetcy. The freedom of Edinburgh was given him in 1896. He died at Aberlour, Banffshire, on the 16th of October 1898..

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