John Playfair, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Edinburgh

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John Playfair

Birthplace: Benvie, Angus, Scotland
Death: Died in Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Burial: Edinburgh, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of James Playfair, Min. of Liff and Benvie and Margaret Young
Brother of Robert Playfair; James Playfair; William Playfair and Charles Playfair

Managed by: Alisdair James Smyth
Last Updated:

About John Playfair, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Edinburgh

Biographical Summary

PLAYFAIR, JOHN. 10/03/1748-20/07/1819. Ref: 1211. Male.

  • Titles and British Honours: Rev.
  • Place of Birth: Benvie, Angus.
  • Place of Death: Edinburgh.
  • Place of interment: Old Calton Cemy. Edinburgh.
  • Profession: Minister of Religion, Mathematician, Physicist, Geologist.
  • Appointments Held: Minister 1773-82, Liff & Benvie; Private Tutor 1782-5, Joint Professor 1785-1805, Mathematics, Professor 1805-19, Natural Philosophy, Edinburgh University.
  • Undergraduate Studies: MA(St Andrews 1765), and Edinburgh Universities.
  • Publications: " Elements of Geometry" 1795, "Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth" 1802.
  • Marital Status: Unmarried.
  • Mother: Margaret Young d. 1805.
  • Father: Rev James Playfair, Minister of Liff & Benvie d. 1772.
  • Other Family: Uncle of William Henry Playfair FRSE 1789-1857.
  • References: DNB 45, 1896, 413-4; Williams 420; Anderson 3, 293-6; Shapin 371; S Devlin-Thorp Scotland's Cultural Heritage, 1,1981; W P Anderson 1931,591-3.
  • Memberships: FRS (1807).
  • Date of Election: 17/11/1783.
  • Proposers: Founder Member.
  • Service to the RSE: Secretary (Physical) 1789-96, General Secretary 1798-1819.
  • Edinburgh Philosophical Society: Residential.
  • Fellow Type: OF.

SOURCE: Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Biographical index of former fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-2002: Biographical Index. II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. page 740

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John Playfair, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Edinburgh's Timeline

February 26, 1748
Benvie, Angus, Scotland
July 20, 1819
Age 71
Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland