John Gibson Macvicar was born in Dundee on 16 March 1800 and died in Moffat, Dumfriesshire on 12 February 1884. He was educated at private school followed by the University of St Andrews and then Edinburgh University. He received a university prize for mathematics and the Medal for Natural Philosophy at St Andrews, and studied anatomy, chemistry and natural history at Edinburgh. Although he was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Dundee, he chose instead to take up the post of a new lectureship in natural history at St Andrews in 1827. While at St Andrews he created a museum of natural history as well as lecturing to students; he was also appointed editor of the ‘Quarterly Journal of Agriculture’, a publication set up by the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. When a Royal Commission recommended the lectureship be upgraded to a chair in 1831, he left St Andrews and became an assistant to Dr Candlish in St George's Parish, Edinburgh. The newly established Scottish church in Ceylon provided him with his first job as a pastor in 1839 and he was given his own parish in Moffat, Dumfriesshire in July 1853.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.