Biography of James Mylne
James Mylne was Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University from 1797 to 1837 and Clerk of Senate from 1799 until he resigned in 1802. He was Vice-Rector from 1805 to 1807 and College chaplain, 1809 to 1819.
Born in Perthshire, Mylne was educated at the University of St Andrews and served as a deputy chaplain to the 83rd Regiment of Foot and later as a minister at Paisley Abbey. He married Agnes, daughter of the University's Regius Professor of Civil Law, John Millar.
Mylne rebelled against the teachings of the Scottish School of Common Sense Philosophy and was profoundly influenced by the French sensationalist school. He was disliked in some quarters for his perceived political radicalism, at a time of war with France and mounting social tensions in Britain, and he was accused of treason in 1815 after prayers he offered in the College Chapel were mistakenly taken to be in support of the Emperor Napoleon.
Among Mylne's most distinguished students was James McCosh, subsequently President of Princeton University.