Horner, Francis (1778–1817)
Horner was born in Edinburgh in 1778, the son of a merchant. He was educated at the Royal High School and the local university and was a member of the group of former students of Dugald Stewart who in 1802 founded the Edinburgh Review – a Whig quarterly which became the main reviewing periodical in political economy during the first third of the 19th century. Horner was the expert on political economy within the founding group, and his advice on books and reviewers was often crucial to the editor, Francis Jeffrey. Horner’s other early claim to be of note is that he was probably one of the world’s first students of political economy, having attended Stewart’s pioneering course of lectures on the subject on no less than three occasions. The record of his studies during this period reveals him to have been a close but by no means uncritical student of the Wealth of Nations, and an admirer of the work of Turgot, whose writings he hoped to translate, having already translated Euler’s Elements of Algebra from the French in 1797.