The Whole Truth

Some websites claim that James Finlayson went to George Watson’s school in Edinburgh and then on to Edinburgh University where he apparently dropped out. However, no source is given for either of these statements.

Given that his father was a blacksmith, and that he himself is listed as a tinsmith on the 1901 Census, these claims seem dubious. e.g. How would the family have afforded the tuition fees?

James Finlayson in 1901 Census
Excerpt from 1901 Census of the household of Alexander Finlayson in the parish of Larbert
(ScotlandsPeople: Census 1901 485/0A 001/00 043)

I looked into this some time ago and could find no reference to him in the Edinburgh University online archives, nor is he listed on George Watson’s site. I emailed both institutions and the archivists could find no record of his attendance.

As a result I removed these claims from his Wikipedia page, having previously added the {{citation needed}} tag some time beforehand.

Perhaps James himself invented these wee white lies to make out his past was grander than it actually was?

  • The Whole Truth‘ was the title of a 1923 film starring Stan Laurel where James Finlayson played the role of Defense Lawyer.

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