William Minto (10 October 1845 – 1 March 1893) was a Scottish academic, critic, editor, journalist and novelist.
Minto was born at Nether Auchintoul, near Alford, Aberdeenshire. He was son of James Minto, a farmer, and his wife Barbara Copland.
He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, graduating as an M.A. in 1865 and "winning the leading prizes in mathematics, classics and philosophy". In 1866 he began studying at Merton College, Oxford, but left the following year without taking a degree.
He became assistant professor under Alexander Bain, who held the Regius Chair of Logic and the Regius Chair of English Literature at the University of Aberdeen. During this period he wrote the book, Manual of English Prose Literature, Biographical and Critical, which was published in 1872 and which was "distinguished by sound judgment and sympathetic appreciation".
In 1873 Minto moved to London and from 1874 to 1878 he contributed literary and political articles to The Examiner, and later he was on the leader-writing staff of The Daily News and The Pall Mall Gazette. During this period Minto "was considered to be an able and pungent critic of Lord Beaconsfield's imperial policies".
In 1880 Bain retired and Minto succeeded him as Regius Professor of Logic and English Literature at Aberdeen, a post he held until his death. "Though Logic and Rhetoric had long been combined in a single Chair at the Scottish universities, Minto's occupancy of the Chair was marked by a much great[er] [sic] emphasis on the study and teaching of literature than logic."
On 8 January 1880 Minto married Cornelia Beatrice, daughter of the Rev. Lewis Griffiths, rector of Swindon, Gloucestershire. His health began to decline in 1891. A trip to Greece gave him some respite but he died of his ailments on 1 March 1893.
He had two sons, William and Charles. On 2 July 1919 the elder son, Lt. Col. William Bain Griffiths Minto, "died of injuries received while firing [a] peace salute at Aberdeen".