GORDON, ROBERT [SSNE 6484]

Surname
GORDON
First name
ROBERT

Text source

Robert Gordon was born August 1668 and died April 1731 [thanks to Brian Lockhart for this information]. He had graduated from Marischal College in Aberdeen and subsequently emigrated to Poland-Lithuania where he became a successful merchant of Danzig from 1690-1720.

the following information comes from Brian Lockhart: Gordon rented a room from another Scot, William Thomson, in the Frauengasse near the banks of Moltawa and worked in the grain trade. Lockhart further informs us that in November 1696 Gordon was accused by Alexander Ross, factor to the Polish prince Hieronim August Lubomirski, of various unspecified "excesses" against customs duties. A disputed sum of 6615 zloty led to Gordon's property being seized. Gordon received help from further members of the Scottish community in Danzig, particularly Daniel Davidson and Peter Forbes standing caution of 10,000 floren. The situation was resolved some months later and Gordon began trading again. In late 1700 he sent 60 dolar to the Marischal College appeal for funds. Gordon retired home to Aberdeen in 1720 and spent his last years setting up the Hospital, which opened in 1750 with 13 poor scholars. Gordon's legacy was over £11,000 sterling.

Gordon provided a large endowment/legacy to establish Gordon's Hospital in Aberdeen. In 1881, the ‘Hospital’ was reconstituted as a day school under the name of ‘Robert Gordon’s College’. It continued to attract support from benefactors. In 1909 its charitable constitution changed to allow the development of adult education, a move which developed in the course of time into the Robert Gordon University along side the school. Robert Gordon was one of a group of Scots who established such funds for charity under the motto "let knowledge grow from more to more and thus be the human life enriched". Lockhart informs us that it was not this Robert Gordon who donated £112 to the Marischall College restoration fund, but in fact Robert Gordon of Tillielt [SSNE 7076].

Many thanks to Brian Lockhart for sending us his information and Professor Robert Frost for similar updates. S. Seliga and L. Koczy, Scotland and Poland a chapter of forgotten history, (Scotland, 1969), p.8; A. Bieganska, "Andrew Davidson (1591-1660) and his descendants in Poland" in Scottish Slavonic Review, 10, (1988), p.13; A. Bieganska,"In search of tolerance, Scottish Catholics and Presbyterians in Poland", in Scottish Slavonic Review, 17, (1991), p.44; see also the Fasti Ecclesiastica, vol.1 (Aberdeen, 1889), pp.357, 359; A. Bieganska, The Learned Scots in Poland (From the Mid-Sixteenth to the close of the Eighteenth Century) in 'Canadian Slavonic Review, Vol. XLIII, No. 1, March 2001, p.4; T. Fischer, The Scots in Germany (Edinburgh, 1902), p.268.

Service record

POLAND-LITHUANIA, DANZIG
Departed 1720-12-31
Capacity MERCHANT, purpose MERCANTILE
SCOTLAND, MARISCHAL COLLEGE, ABERDEEN
Capacity STUDENT, purpose ACADEMIC