Andrew White Young, M.A., B.Sc., LL.B. (Edin.), W.S.

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Andrew White Young was born on October 10, 1891, the son of a school teacher and of Scottish Border stock on both sides of his family for many generations back. His early education was at George Watson's College and from an early age he showed signs of unusual ability in a wide range of subjects. At Edinburgh University this ability matured and he obtained the degrees of M.A., with First Class Honours in Mathematics, and B.Sc. with special distinction in Mathematics and in Natural Philosophy. He also gained several prizes and scholarships including the Donald Fraser Scholarship in Experimental Physics and the Vans Dunlop Scholarship in Mathematics. During the period 1914-19 he was a Lecturer in Mathematics in St Andrews and London and published several original papers in the journals of learned societies. The research which was to have most significance for him in later life was the enquiry into the Temperature Seiches in Loch Earn which he undertook in conjunction with Dr (later Sir Ernest) E M Wedderburn. The results of these investigations were published in the Society's Transactions over a period of years and the data therein is much consulted by present-day investigators.

In 1919, as a result of an introduction by Sir Edmund T Whittaker, Mr Young left the academic world and became the representative in Bremen, Germany, of Messrs S M Bulley & Son, Cotton Merchants in Liverpool.

In 1926 after a successful period in business and having a desire to return to this country for family reasons he decided to change his career again and practise law in Edinburgh. He therefore returned to the University of Edinburgh and, after obtaining several distinctions, graduated LL.B. in March 1929 and became a Writer to the Signet later the same year. It is interesting to note that he served his apprenticeship as a Writer to the Signet under Dr E M Wedderburn then Professor of Conveyancing and thus renewed the links formed 15 years before in an entirely different environment. After qualifying Mr Young accepted a partnership in the firm of Messrs J & R A Robertson, Writers to the Signet.

Although his life as a solicitor absorbed most of his interest for the remainder of his life he retained an interest in the academic world both in law and science. In law he was an examiner in Conveyancing for many years and served on various committees and councils. In science he maintained an interest in the Edinburgh Mathematical Society and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1937.

In 1947 he was elected Treasurer of the Royal Society of Edinburgh which he counted a signal honour in view of his desertion from the scientific field so many years before. He considered it no less an honour that his two predecessors as Treasurer had been Sir E M Wedderburn and Dr James Watt both of whom had been elected Fellows on the grounds of their scientific work and who had yet been practising solicitors in Edinburgh. He held the office of Treasurer for ten years and with his legal, business and mathematical experience his advice to the Council was invaluable. From 1958 until 1960 he served as a Vice-President. For his part he made no secret of the fact that he enjoyed the stimulation of the papers read to the Society at their regular meetings and the company he met there and at the Society's Dining Club. For the last few years before his death on July 20, 1968, he was unable to attend meetings owing to physical weakness but retained his critical mind throughout.

Andrew White Young was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 1 March 1937, his proposers being Charles H O'Donoghue, Alexander Craig Aitken, Sir Ernest M Wedderburn, Sir Edmund T Whittaker. This obituary, written anonymously, appears in the Royal Society of Edinburgh Year Book 1970, page 53-54.