Minister in the Church of England.
Went to London where he became usher of a school in Hedge Lane. Published his major work, The History of the World, from the Creation to the Year of Christ 1753 (London, 1754).
Elected Fellow of the Royal Society (1755). Appointed in 1757 as chaplain to the Princess- dowager of Wales and mathematical tutor to the Duke of York, with whom he traveled on a tour of the continent (1763-64).
Presented to the vicarage of Hinckley (1761), transferred to the vicarage of St. Bride, London (1771), and again to the rectory of St. John the Evangelist, Westminster (1776).
Born and educated in Edinburgh.