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Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835) - Statistician

He was born on 10th May 1754 in Thurso, Scotland, the son of a Caithness landowner. He was educated at the High School of Edinburgh and the University, and later studied law at Oxford. In 1770 he took over the management of his family estates and began his lifelong interest in agricultural improvement, including the proper
rotation of crops and the husbandry of sheep. His Code of Agriculture was published in 1817, but his best-known work is in statistics: following the success of his History of the Public Revenue of the British Empire (1785), he became responsible for the preparation of the first Statistical Account of Scotland, in 29 volumes, which was completed in 1799. Sinclair used a network of ministers throughout Scotland to provide uniform information about their parishes for inclusion in the work. He was created a baronet in 1786 and was twice president of the Board of Agriculture, which he helped to found in 1793. In his later years his secretary was his daughter, the novelist Catherine Sinclair.

Works; Disputatio juridica (1775); Consideration of Militias and Standing Armies (1782); Lucubrations during a Short Recess (1782); Observations on the Scottish Dialect (1782); Thoughts on the Naval Strength of the British Empire (1782); Hints Addressed to the Public (1783); History of the Public Revenue of the British Empire (1785); Specimen of the Statistical Account of Scotland (1791); ed., The Statistical Account of Scotland, 29 vols. (1791-9); General View of the Agriculture of the Northern Counties and Islands of Scotland (1795); Hints on Vegetation (1796); Cursory Observations on the Military System of Great Britain (1799); Essays on Miscellaneous Subjects (1802); Hints Regarding Cattle (1802); Observations on the Propriety of Preserving the Dress, the Language, the Poetry, the Music and the Customs of the Ancient Inhabitants of Scotland (1804); Code of Health and Longevity (1807);A Dissertation on the Authenticity of the Poems of Ossian (1807); Materials Collected for Drawing up an Account of the Husbandry of Scotland (1810); Observations on the Bullion Committee (1810); An Account of James Small (1811); An Account of the Improvements Carried out by Sir John Sinclair Bart. (1812); An Account of the Systems of Husbandry Adopted in the More Improved Areas of Scotland (1812); General Report of Scotland (1812); An Account of the Highland Society of London (1813); General Report of the Agricultural State of Scotland (1814); The Pyramid Statistical Inquiry (1814); Hints Regarding the Agricultural State of the Netherlands (1815); The Code of Agriculture (1817); Collection of Papers on Political Subjects (1819); Hints on Circulation (1822); Miscellaneous Papers (1825); The Late Prosperity and the Present Adversity of the Country Explained (1826); Correspondence (1831); Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform (1831).

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