James Finlay Weir Johnston

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James Finlay Weir Johnston, FRS FRSE (13 September 1796 – 18 September 1855) was a Scottish agricultural chemist[1] and mineralogist.

Life[edit]

Born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Johnston was educated at University of Glasgow, where he studied Theology and graduated MA.

Johnston founded a grammar school in Durham in 1825,[2] which later merged with other local schools, such as Brandon and Bowburn, to form a single comprehensive school for the area, named Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, preserving James Finlay Weir Johnston's name.[1]

He acquired a fortune at the time of his marriage in 1830, and was able to devote himself to studying chemistry. He visited the chemist J. J. Berzelius in Sweden and was a co-founder of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.[3]

In 1832 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposer being Thomas Charles Hope. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1837.[4]

He was appointed reader in Chemistry and Mineralogy at Durham University on its foundation in 1833, but continued to reside in Edinburgh out of term.[2] From 1847, his assistant was Augustus Voelcker who also lectured in agricultural chemistry at Durham University.[5]

Johnston died in Durham on 18 September 1855.[1]

Works[edit]

He wrote the Catechism of Agricultural Chemistry (1844), since translated into most European languages, and the Chemistry of Common Life (1853–1855).

Family[edit]

In 1830 he married the daughter of Thomas Ridley of Durham.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]