FRS FRSE FSA
1741 - 1818
Traveller and Author
Pioneer in the study of electricity
A man of the Scottish Enlightenment, a contemporary of David Hume and James Hutton, he was born in Coldingham. His father and maternal grandfather were ministers at Coldingham.
A pioneer in the study of electricity, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1772.
In 1770 he travelled to Sicily and Malta. His account "A tour through Sicily and Malta, in a series of letters to William Beckford Esq." was extremely popular and influenced later writers.
In 1783, he was a founder member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
In later life, he live at Lennel, Coldstream where he was visited by Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. He is alluded to in "Marmion" by Scott and in "The Vision" by Burns.
He died at Lennel in 1818.
The Bow, Coldingham, United Kingdom