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The Life of Adam Smith$
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Ian Simpson Ross

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288212.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Kirkcaldy
The Life of Adam Smith

Ian Simpson Ross

Oxford University Press

Adam Smith was baptized on 5 June 1723 in the Fife seaport of Kirkcaldy, where his father, who died on 9 January 1723, had served as Comptroller of Customs. Father Adam Smith studied the liberal arts in Aberdeen, took legal training in Edinburgh qualifying him for estate management, and became secretary to a Campbell magnate. He hesitated about taking up a Customs post in Kirkcaldy, because his income there depended on volume of trade, which was falling off. However, he handled his money well, and married the daughter of a substantial Fife laird. His Will specified that his widow, Margaret Douglas, would get help in raising young Adam from guardians associated with intellectual and economic improvement in Scotland.

Keywords:   Customs, father, improvement, money, trade

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