Clement Litil

Advocate of a University in the city, benefactor and founder of the University's Library.


The younger son of an Edinburgh merchant and burgess, Clement Litil was educated at the University of St Andrews and at Louvain

He returned to Edinburgh in 1550 to practise as a lawyer.

He had first met the opinions of the Reformers at St Andrews, and now embraced the reformed kirk.

Bequest to the University

Litil's bequest of 276 volumes, mainly theological, to the Toun and Kirk of Edinburgh, founded the Library.

The collection, in which traditional and Lutheran treatises are both well represented, was handed over by the Town Council to the Tounis College in 1584. It is now preserved in the Library Strong Room.

Each book is stamped with a circular seal showing the arms and initials of Maister Climent Litil and another stamp which states: "I am gevin to Edinburgh & Kirk of God be maister Clement Litil thair to reman. 1580"

The plaque

Litil's plaque is adjacent to the Entrance of the University's Main Library.


In honour of Clement Litil


Advocate of a university in the city, benefactor and founder of the University's Library