Matthew Stewart was born at Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute and died on 23 January 1785. His father was minister of the local parish church. In 1734 Stewart entered the University of Glasgow, where Francis Hutcheson was Professor of Moral Philosophy and Robert Simson was Professor of Mathematics. In 1741 he moved to Edinburgh, where he studied mathematics and natural philosophy under Colin Maclaurin. Thanks to his Some General Theorems, published in 1746, he acquired a great reputation as a mathematician and in 1747 he succeeded Maclaurin as Professor of Mathematics. In 1772 Stewart's health began to fail and his teaching duties were taken up by his son Dugald Stewart, who was elected joint-professor with him in 1775.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.