John Gillies was born in Brechin in Forfarshire on 18 January 1747 and died in London on 15 February 1836. He went to school in Brechin and later attended Glasgow University, studying classics. He proved to be an able student and was invited when he was only twenty to teach the class in Greek while the Professor, James Moor, was ill. Later he was tutor to the Honourable Henry Hope, second son of the Earl of Hopetoun. He spent some time on the Continent, studying in Germany in particular; he also acted as travelling tutor to Hopetoun's younger sons. He returned to England in 1784, took an LL.D. and in 1793 was appointed Historiographer Royal for Scotland. Nevertheless, his Scottish background and appointment did not take him back to his native land. He settled in London in 1793, married in 1794, and lived and worked in the London area until his death.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.