Sir John Sinclair, Scottish agricultural economist and statistician, c 1790s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by William Skelton after an original drawing by Lawrence, c 1790s. Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835), MP for Caithnes (1780-1811) is famous for compiling 'A Statistical Account of Scotland', an investigation, completed in 1799 in 21 volumes, of the state of economic and social activities and natural resources in Scotland. His aim was to increase knowledge and to inform the future development of the country. Many other nations followed suit with their own surveys. He became the first president of the Board of Agriculture which led to the nickname 'Agricultural Sir John'.