The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Millar, John (1735–1801)

  • Nicholas Phillipson
Reference work entry


Born in Lanarkshire, the son of a Presbyterian minister, Millar was educated at Glasgow University for the Scottish Bar. He became a protégé of Adam Smith and Lord Kames, both of whom were instrumental in securing his appointment as Professor of Civil Law at Glasgow, a post he held until his death. He was a charismatic teacher who transformed the civil law curriculum by placing it on the jurisprudential foundations Smith had created for his moral philosophy lectures. He was a radical Foxite Whig and a member of the Society of the Friends of the People.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Igantieff, M. 1983. John Millar and individualism. In Wealth and virtue: The shaping of political economy in the Scottish enlightenment, ed. I. Hont and M. Ignatieff. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Lehmann, W.C. 1960. John Millar of Glasgow. 1735–1801: His life and thought and his contributions to sociological analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Phillipson
    • 1
  1. 1.