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James Ballantyne

James Ballantyne, who had been at Kelso High School with Walter Scott, was a solicitor in Kelso. In 1796, he took over the editing and printing of the 'Kelso Mail'. Approached by Scott, he published 'The Minstrelsy' in 1802. Thereafter, he and Scott set up a publishing house and he continued to publish Scott's work for some years. His brother, John Ballantyne, joined him in the printing business in 1806. By 1808, he had started bookselling also, and, later, was proprietor of the 'Weekly Journal'. In 1825, the Edinburgh firm of Constable & Co who was now publisher for Scott, with the Ballantynes as his agent, was declared bankrupt. Scott assumed responsibility for all the Ballantyne debts as well as his own. This debt amounted to about 120,000. James Ballantyne spent the rest of his life as an employee editing the 'Weekly Journal' and managing the printing house for the creditors' trustees. John had died in 1821, and James died in 1833.

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