Concept

James Burnett, Lord Monboddo

Summary
James Burnett, Lord Monboddo (baptised 25 October 1714; died 26 May 1799) was a Scottish judge, scholar of linguistic evolution, philosopher and deist. He is most famous today as a founder of modern comparative historical linguistics. In 1767 he became a judge in the Court of Session. As such, Burnett adopted an honorary title based on the name of his father's estate and family seat, Monboddo House. Monboddo was one of a number of scholars involved at the time in development of early concepts of biological evolution. Some credit him with anticipating in principle the idea of natural selection that was read by (and acknowledged in the writings of) Erasmus Darwin. Charles Darwin read the works of his grandfather Erasmus and later developed the ideas into a scientific theory. Early years James Burnett was born in 1714 at Monboddo House in Kincardineshire, Scotland. After his primary educ
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