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Ferguson, James, FRS (1710-1776), born Rothiemay, Banffshire, largely and remarkably  self-taught until in 1734 he went to Edinburgh University where he made a living from painting miniatures while he studied science. He moved to Inverness, where he  drew up his Astronomical Rotula for showing the motions of the planets, places of the sun and moon, &c., and in 1743 went to London, which was his home for the rest of his life. Elected FRS in 1763, he wrote and lectured in natural philosophy, using models and apparatus of his own making. He was one of the first to suggest an evolutionary origin of the Solar System (ODNB).

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