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Gordon, Robert

(1580 - 1661)

Robert Gordon of Straloch was born in 1580. He was educated in Aberdeen and Paris. He married in 1608 when he acquired the estate of Straloch (north of Aberdeen), later to acquire his elder brother's estate of Pitlurg. Robert Gordon was a man of both learning and substance. Shortly after his death in 1661, he was described as 'one of the most worthy and learned Gentlemen of our Nation'. Rorbert Gordon was the grandfather of Robert Gordon the founder of Robert Gordon University.

Although best known for his contribution to Willem Blaeu's Great Atlas of Scotland, this probably represents only a small part of the scholastic pursuits which his position permitted him to indulge. Robert Gordon's contact with the work of Timothy Pont occurred late in his life, a consequence of his established reputation.

In 1641, Charles I wrote an oft-quoted letter, in which he entreated Gordon 'to reveis the saidis cairtiss', a phrase which caused misunderstanding as to what exactly Blaeu required of his potential new informant. It is apparent from later correspondence that the publisher was not so much looking to revise plates which were already engraved, as to fill gaps in his coverage of Scotland. Nevertheless, such authoritative sources as the Dictionary of National Biography state that Gordon's role was 'to correct and complete the maps which Timothy Pont had begun'.
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