Robert Archibald Armstrong ~ Lexicographer

Robert Archibald Armstrong (1788-1867) – lexicographer – was born at Kenmore in Perthshire. After going up to Edinburgh University, then St Andrews University where he studied Latin and Greek, Armstrong taught in several London schools, including the South Lambeth Grammar School. During this time, he took a wife who subsequently gave him three daughters. He wrote prolifically, but is best known for his two quarto volume Gaelic Dictionary (1825). Unlike previous Gaelic dictionaries, Armstrong’s work included detailed etymological information; some of which have now been demonstrated to be in error. Armstrong became Gaelic ‘lexicographer-in-ordinary’ to the king in 1826. The dictionary did not achieve the success he had hoped, being succeeded in 1828 by the more substantial and authoritative Dictionarium Scoto-Celticum. Robert Archibald Armstrong died in London; his widow was awarded a pension by Queen Victoria.