John Leslie was born in Largo, Fife on 16 April 1766 and died in Coates in the same county on 3 November 1832. He began as a student at St Andrews at the age of thirteen, and proceeded to Edinburgh to study divinity in 1785. He preferred, however, to study under Joseph Black, John Robison and Dugald Stewart, and on the death of his patron, the Earl of Kinnoull, abandoned theological for scientific studies. Between 1792 and 1805 Leslie lived mainly at Largo, and worked at experimental research. In 1804 he published An Experimental Inquiry into the Nature and Propagation of Heat, which won him the Royal Society's Rumford Medal in 1805.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.