James Ferguson was born near Rothiemay, Banffshire (Scotland), and died in London. An astronomer and sometime portrait painter, he came from a humble background but was lucky enough to secure a number of patrons; George III sometimes consulted him on mechanics. His science was largely derived from Isaac Newton and Edmond Halley. His major work was Astronomy Explained on Sir Isaac Newton's Principles, which first appeared in 1756 and made him famous, going through a number of editions. He wrote a small number of other works on science and astronomy.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.