Scotsman obituary

Obituaries Index

Glasgow Rector's Death.

The death occurred in Glasgow on Saturday of Dr Peter Pinkerton, M.A., D.Sc., F.R.S.E., rector of Glasgow High School. Dr Pinkerton passed away at his residence, 7 Park Quadrant.

About 60 years of age, Dr Pinkerton had been rector of Glasgow High School since 1913, having gone to the city from George Watson's College, Edinburgh. He was educated at Kilmarnock Academy, where he was medallist in classics. He was an M.A. of Glasgow University, and graduated with distinction in classics and first-class honours in mathematics and natural philosophy. In addition, he gained first prize in mathematics and in natural philosophy, second place in English, third in senior Latin, tenth in senior Greek, fifth in logic, and was awarded the Breadalbane and John Clark Scholarships in mathematics and natural philosophy. He then went as a Royal Exhibitioner to Dublin, where he spent two years, attending the Royal College of Science there; and took first place in mathematics, mechanics, physics, and chemistry, and second place in botany.

After that unusually complete preparation, Dr Pinkerton began his career as a teacher in Allan Glen's School, Glasgow. From 1893 to 1899 he was a master in that school, where he taught mathematics, physics, classics, and German. Though specially distinguished as a mathematician Dr Pinkerton was also a good classic and English scholar, and had an excellent knowledge of modern languages.


In 1900 he crossed to Ireland to be head of the Mathematical department of the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast. Three years later he came to Edinburgh as head of the Mathematical department of George Watson's College, and became deputy-headmaster in October 1911. He was appointed rector of Glasgow High School on December 2, 1913, and it was under his organisation that the pupils of the school, past and present, raised £43,000 to buy and equip a splendid sports ground at Anniesland as a memorial to former pupils who fell in the war. Dr Pinkerton acted for several years as examiner at Glasgow University in physics, mathematics, and dynamics for degree or preliminary examinations. In 1909 the University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science for a thesis on "The Relation of Geometry to Analysis." Before he went to Glasgow, Dr Pinkerton was for four years hon. secretary and for one year president of Edinburgh Mathematical Society. He was also editor of "Mathematical Notes" and "Review of Elementary Mathematics and Science," while he was joint author with Professor Gibson of "The Elements of Analytical Geometry."

Peter Pinkerton died on Saturday 22 November 1930 and this obituary appeared in The Scotsman on the following day.