24th June 1795

Encyclopaedia Britannica’s first editor dies

William Smellie left school aged 12 and found work as an apprentice printer. His duties evolved, to eventually include correcting errors in the material being printed. This gave him the experience he needed to find work performing the same task for magazines and, in 1768, he was hired to edit the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which was then being published as a part-work.

The Caledonian Mercury reported Smellie’s death on 27 June 1795 – three days after he died, describing him as a “printer in Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Secretary to the Society of Scottish Antiquaries, translator of Burron’s Natural History, author of the Philosophy of Natural History, and many other ingenious works.”



Other events that occured in June

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