Taught a school at Charleston near Dunfermline, and also printed. At first the press at Alloa was not sufficiently profitable, so he combined it with teaching a school, but in 1818 he was able to give up the school. In 1841 he established “The Alloa Advertiser, as” a monthly periodical, in 1850 it became a fortnightly and in 1855 a weekly newspaper. Author and Publisher of “Stirling and its environs”. 2nd ed. 1847; “Alloa and its environs”. Alloa, 1861; 3rd ed. 1871; and Lothian's Annual Register for the County of Clackmanan. The 1877 edition of the last is 'Nineteenth Year of Pblication'. He died on 18 July 1862 in his 82nd year. The business was continued by his son, also John Lothian.