James Parsons was born at Barnstaple in March 1705 and died in London on 4 April 1770. He was at school in Ireland, studied medicine in Paris and graduated with an MD at Rheims in 1736. He became a physician in the public infirmary in St Giles, London in 1738 and FRS in 1741. He was an assistant secretary of the Royal Society for a year or two from 1750 and a licentiate of the College of Physicians from 1751. He was also interested in the arts and literature and was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a member of the Society of Arts and of the Gentlemen's Society of Spalding, founded in 1712 by Maurice Johnson. Parsons lived in Red Lion Square in London which was at the time much favoured as a place of residence by distinguished medical practitioners. Among his friends were the antiquaries Martin Folkes and William Stukeley and the physician Richard Mead.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.