Annals of Science 42 (4):397-415 (1985)

Abstract
Summary Five recently discovered letters written by James Ferguson, FRS (1710?1776) while he was on a lecture tour in 1771 add substantially to what was previously known about his activities at that time. Together with newspaper advertisements and other correspondence, they not only enable his itinerary to be reconstructed in also reveal some of his own thoughts at the time and the difficulties that he had to contend with. On this particular tour, Ferguson was away from his London base for at least seven months, visiting Birmingham, Kidderminster, Worcester, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Cheadle (Staffs.), and Derby. During this period he delivered his course of 12 lectures on Experimental Philosophy at least eight times. Amongst the people that he met were Matthew Boulton, Josiah Wedgwood, and John Whitehurst, as well as the recipient of the letters, James Beresford of Bewdley, Worcestershire. In this paper the opportunity has been taken to present also an outline of the gradual evolution of Ferguson's lecturing career, leading up to his situation in the 1770s, as much of the relevant source material now available was unknown to his nineteenth-century biographer, Ebenezer Henderson
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DOI 10.1080/00033798500200431
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