James Gregory was born in Aberdeen in January 1753 and died in Edinburgh on 2 April 1821. His father, John Gregory, was Professor of the Practice of Medicine at Edinburgh, where James was regarded as the leading medical practitioner of his day, eventually succeeding his father. The son was also President of the Edinburgh College of Physicians. He did little original work in medicine, however, preferring to concentrate on practical teaching. He was also a Latin scholar of note. Throughout his professional career he seemed to court controversy, and it was the opinion of contemporaries that he wasted a fine mind in bitter and sarcastic personal attacks on those with whom he disagreed. One such attack, on Dr James Hamilton, resulted in Gregory not only being brought to court and fined for defamation but also receiving a physical beating. Later, he was suspended by the Edinburgh College of Physicians for defamation. His publication of his defence in this case ran to over seven hundred pages.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.