Robert Gordon biography

Robert Gordon

Deceased Person

1668 – 1731


Who was Robert Gordon?

Robert Gordon, a 17th-century merchant and philanthropist, was born in Aberdeen. He was the only son of Arthur Gordon who married Isabella Menzies of Balgownie. When Arthur Gordon, a well-respected advocate in the Edinburgh courts, died in 1680, he left his twelve-year-old son the sum of 20,000 merks.

When Gordon reached the age of sixteen he became a Burgess of the City of Aberdeen. Among other benefits, this entitled him to follow a merchant's trade in the town. During the next few years he attended Marischal College, graduating in 1689. Soon afterwards, like many Scots at the time, he left Aberdeen, travelling far and wide around Northern Europe before finally settling in GdaƄsk where he established himself as a merchant trader. Over the next few decades he built a highly successful business and soon became wealthy. By 1692, he was rich enough to donate a large sum of money to his old college and by 1699, it appears that he was providing low interest loans to landowners in Aberdeenshire who needed working capital.

Little more is known about his time on the Baltic but by 1720 at the latest, he returned to Aberdeen a very wealthy man.


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  • Scottish people
  • Marischal College

on July 23, 2013

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