Sinclare, George

, professor of philosophy in the university of Glasgow in the seventeenth century, was the | author of several works on mathematical and physical subjects. He was dismissed from his professorship soon after the restoration, on account of his principles, being a strict adherent to the presbyterian form of church government. During the period of his ejectment, he resided about the soutnern and border counties, collecting and affording useful information on the subjects of mining, engineering, &c. and was in particular employed by tue magistrates of Edinburgh on the then new plan for supplying that city with water, &c. Considerable attention seems to have been paid by him to such branches of hydrostatics as were of a practical nature: and it has been said he was the first person who suggested the proper method of draining the water from the numerous coal mines in the south-west of Scotland. When the revolution took place in 1688, and the presbyterian became the established religion of Scotland, Mr. Sinclare was recalled to his professorship, which he held until his death in 1696.

He published, 1. “Tyrocinia mathematica,” Glas. 1661, 12nto. 2. “Ars Nova et Magna Gravitatis et Levitatis,” Rotterd. 1669, 4to. 3. “Hydrostatics,” Eclin. 1672, 4to. 4. “Hydrostatical Experiments, with a Discourse on Coal,” Edin. 1680, 8vo. 5. “Principles of Astronomy and Navigation,” Edin. 1688, 12mo. Mr. Sinclare’s writings, in the opinion of a very able judge, are not destitute of ingenuity and research, though they may contain some erroneous and eccentric views. His work on Hydrostatics, and his “Ars Nova et Magna,” and perhaps also his political principles, provoked the indignation of some persons; on which occasion Mr. James Gregory, then professor of mathematics at St. Andrew’s, animadverted on him rather severely in a treatise entitled, “The great and new art of weighing Vanity,” &c. (See Gregory, vol. XVI. p. 278). Besides the works above mentioned, a publication in defence of witchcraft, entitled “Satan’s Invisible World,” has been ascribed to him: it bears the initials G. S. of his name; and witchcraft was a standard article of belief in Scotland at that time. He also translated and published under the same initials Dickson’s “Truth’s Victory over Error,” suppressing the author’s name (see David Dickson), for which he is censured by Wodrow, the ecclesiastical historian and biographer of professor Dickson, while he allows him the merit of some good intention. 1


Hutton’s Dictionary, new edit. Wodrow’s Life of Dickson, p. vi. edit, 1764.