Ure, Andrew, 1778-1857

Alternative names
Birth 1778-05-18
Death 1857-01-02

Biographical notes:

Chemist and author.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to James Bradshaw, 1835 Jan. 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270573909

Andrew Ure was born in Glasgow in May 1778 and graduated MD from Glasgow University in 1801. After a brief spell as an army surgeon, Ure was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at Anderson's Institution in 1804, in succession to George Birkbeck. In the spirit of John Anderson, he gave highly successful evening lectures on chemistry and mechanics for the working people of the city and built up a reputation as a competent practical chemist. He published a 'Dictionary of chemistry' in 1821 and a much-criticised 'New system of geology' in 1829. An account of the cotton industry followed in 1836 and a 'Dictionary of arts' in 1839. He was Director of the short-lived Garnethill Observatory from 1808. Ure was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1822, and played a leading part in the founding of the Pharmaceutical Society in 1840. In 1818 Ure achieved notoriety by galvanising the body of an executed criminal and apparently bringing it back to life. His personal life was stormy, and he divorced his wife in 1819 after her affair with his colleague, Granville Sharpe Pattison, Professor of Anatomy. Ure resigned his Chair at the Andersonian in 1830 and established himself as a consulting chemist in London, where he died in 1857.

From the guide to the Papers of Andrew Ure, 1812-1876, 2004, (Strathclyde University Archives)


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