William Robertson was born in Dublin on 16 October 1705. He died of gout in the stomach at Wolverhampton on 20 May 1783. Born into a dissenting family prominent in the linen trade, he received his grammar schooling and first grounding in philosophy from Francis Hutcheson. He transferred from Hutcheson's Dublin academy to Glasgow University in 1722, graduating MA in 1724. He was later expelled from the divinity school for joining in an annual agitation against the University over the ‘liberties’ of the students, that is, their right to elect the Rector. Robertson went to London and presented the students' grievances to Lord Ilay. Ilay subsequently secured and headed a Royal Commission which made wholesale reforms not only in the administration but in the curriculum at Glasgow, instituting the professorial system with designated chairs in the different branches of philosophy.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.