1743 - matriculated from the University of Glasgow aged 12. 1760 - in partnership with William Ramsay of Barnton, merchants and bankers. 1761 - built the Wolfe, a ship. 1767 - elected to the court of the Bank of Scotland. 1780s - claimed he was responsible for the development of the carronade gun manufactured by Carron & Co. 1786 - became an admirer and patron of Robert Burns. 1788 - first trials of steam propelled vessel on Dalswinton Loch. 1790 - became deputy governor of the Bank of Scotland. 1796 - patented design for flat-bottomed vessel with shallow draught.