Pillans, "Tae" Laurie probably gave one of his sons the middle name of Pillans after this James. James Pillans was educated at Edinburgh University where he took classes given by Dugald Stewart and Joseph Black. As Headmaster of the Old High School of Edinbugh, he was an early advocate of compulsory education. Later (1820-63), he was Professor of Humanity and Laws in the University of Edinburgh. He invented the blackboard and coloured chalks which he used when teaching geography. Simon Somerville Laurie was appointed Assistant in Latin to him, while still an undergraduate. Pillans appears to have known the Laurie family in the 1840s and 50s. In Sept. 1852, he wrote to the Managers of the Royal Infirmary enclosing a letter from Simon S. Laurie asking for pecuniary assistance for James Laurie's widow and children. It was agreed to give the family £20.00, which was the equivalent of 3 or 4 months salary. Did he have a family? James PILLANS Sex: M Marriage(s): Spouse: Helen THOMSON Marriage: 6 Aug 1811 Saint Cuthberts, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Source Information: Batch number: Dates Source Call No. Type Printout Call No. Type M119883 1800-1814 1066757 Film 6900813 Film Also: Margaret PILLANS Sex: F Marriage(s): Spouse: John THOMSON Marriage: 7 Nov 1783 Saint Cuthberts, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland Source Information: Batch number: Dates Source Call No. Type Printout Call No. Type M119881 1777-1788 1066756, 0103065 Film 6900813 Film "James Pillans 1778 - 1864 Academic. Pillans was educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he took classes given by Joseph Black (1728 - 99) and Dugald Stewart (1753 - 1828). As Headmaster of the Old High School of Edinburgh, he was an early advocate of compulsory education. He invented the blackboard and coloured chalks and used these to teach Geography. Later (1820-1863) he became Professor of Humanity & Laws in the University of Edinburgh."