Andrew Millar

For Scottish printer, see Androw Myllar.

Andrew Millar (1705 – 8 June 1768) was a Scottish publisher in the eighteenth century.[1]

In 1725, as a twenty year old bookseller apprentice he evaded Edinburgh city printing restrictions by going to Leith to print, which was considered beyond Edinburgh's jurisdiction. Millar was soon to take over his apprentice master’s London print shop. He was actively involved in railing against the authorities in Edinburgh.[2]

About 1729, Millar started business as a bookseller and publisher in the Strand, London. His own judgment in literary matters was small, but he collected an excellent staff of literary advisers, and did not hesitate to pay what at the time were considered large prices for good material. "I respect Millar, sir," said Dr Johnson in 1755, "he has raised the price of literature." He paid Thomson £105 for The Seasons, and Fielding a total sum of £700 for Tom Jones and £1000 for Amelia.

Millar was one of the syndicate of booksellers who financed Johnson's Dictionary in 1755, and on him the work of seeing that book through the press mainly fell. During the same year Millar published the first edition of the Mitchell Map. He also published the histories of Robertson and Hume.

Millar was the plaintiff in the 1769 case Millar v Taylor which held that authors and publishers are entitled to a perpetual common law copyright. That decision was ultimately overturned in the landmark 1774 case Donaldson v Beckett, whose unsuccessful plaintiff was Millar's apprentice, Thomas Becket (or Beckett).[3]

Millar died at his villa at Kew Green, near London, on 8 June 1768.


  1. "Andrew Millar Project". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  2. Letter from Andrew Millar to Robert Wodrow, 15 July, 1725.
  3. Keymer, Tom; Jon Mee (2004). The Cambridge companion to English literature from 1740 to 1830. Cambridge University Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-521-00757-7.

 "Millar, Andrew". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

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