George Sinclair

Biography of George Sinclair

George Sinclair (died c 1696) was Professor of Mathematics at the University from 1691 until 1696 and gifted and lent money to the fund for the building of the Old College. The George Sinclair Chair in Mathematics was founded in 1984.

Sinclair may have been born in the Haddington area and was Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews before moving to Glasgow in 1655. He resigned in 1667 when University professors were required to submit to the Episcopal form of church government. He became a mineral surveyor and engineer, and then a schoolteacher in Edinburgh where he was also employed to supervise a project to bring fresh drinking water into the city. He published several important books on mathematics and practical physics, but his best-known work was Satan's Invisible World Discovered (1685), which documented manifestations of supernatural forces and defended the popular belief in witchcraft.

In 1688, Sinclair returned to the University as a regent having declared his readiness to swear the oath of allegiance to King William III. He was Professor of Mathematics and Experimental Philosophy from 1691 until his death.


George Sinclair
Mathematician and Natural Philosopher

Died 1696.
University Link: Benefactor, Professor, Regent
Occupation categories: mathematicians; natural philosophers; physicists
Search for this person in the DNB
Record last updated: 17th Jul 2008

University Connections

University Roles

  • Benefactor
  • Professor
  • Regent

Academic Posts


There are no comments available.