David Ure (1749–98) contributed, in his History of Rutherglen and East-Kilbride (1793) not only to local history but, especially, to the development in Scotland of natural history, in some aspects of which he played a pioneering part. His studies at Glasgow University (with John Anderson as one of his teachers) were followed by ordination to the ministry of the Church of Scotland. A ‘stickit minister’ for most of his life, he played a significant part in Sinclair’s Statistical Account of Scotland and contributed also to the surveys prepared for Sinclair’s Board of Agriculture and Internal Improvement. Had he lived, he would have been Anderson’s choice as professor of natural history in what became the Andersonian Institute. His writings reflect a lifelong commitment to the pursuit of knowledge with a view to improvement: he is thus a notable example of what the Enlightenment in late 18th-century Scotland was meant to exemplify and uphold.


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pp. 258-277
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Archived 2009
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