Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow.
His Institutes of Physics (1786) went through five editions in ten years. Sent a copy of the Institutes to Franklin (1788). Also wrote Observations upon Roman Antiquities lately discovered, which appeared as an appendix to Roy’s Military Antiquities (1793).
Helped to obtain a collection of Roman remains for the university. Invented a new type of cannon.
A supporter of the French Revolution, he translated two of his essays on war and military instruments into French and presented them to the people of Paris.
Born at Roseneath, Dumbartonshire.