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SINCLAIR, Sir John of Ulbster (1754-1835)

Born Thurso, Scotland. He was responsible for creation of the Board of Agriculture, of which he was the first president. It was the precursor of what is known today as the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food. His Statistical Account of Scotland was compiled during the years 1791 to 1799 in 21 volumes. It was based on returns of formulated questionaires from the ministers of every parish in Scotland, and was the beginning of today’s census. During that mammoth task he was the first to use the words statistics and statistical in the English language. In 1793 the UK government adopted his plan for the issue of Exchequer Bills, saving the possibility of financial ruin. He was also one of the first to record details of certain Scottish archaeological sites.

Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress