Local Heroes (and Villains)
David Gregorie (1625-1720)
David Gregorie's first education was a thorough grounding in mathematics given by his mother; but his father, the Rev. John Gregorie, minister of Drumoak, decided that he should be a merchant so he was apprenticed to a Scottish mercantile house at Kampen in the Netherlands. In 1648 he was elected a Burgess of Aberdeen.
In 1647, his father obtained ownership of the greater portion of the
lands of James Crichton of Frendraught, including Kinairdy and
Netherdale, in settlement of a wadset of 59,560 merks.
John Gregorie died in 1651, and was succeeded by his oldest son, Alexander.
After his father’s death David Gregorie returned to Scotland and in 1655 settled in Aberdeen. From 1663 to 1669 he was librarian at Marischal College, Aberdeen, corresponding widely on scientific matters.
The removal of the Crichtons from Kinairdy had proved difficult, and eventually resulted in Alexander being murdered by Francis Crichton, brother of Viscount Frendraught, in autumn, 1663.
David succeeded his brother Alexander, and secured possession of Kinairdy Castle where he went to live, hence the Scottish title "of Kinairdy" attached to his name.
He disposed of a large portion of the estates, including the Mains of Frendraught, the tower and fortalice of Frendraught, etc., to George Morison of Bognie, who gave them in life-rent, on November 5, 1678, to Christian Urquhart, widow of James, second Viscount Frendraught.
Although he had no formal education, David Gregorie was a doctor, inventor and scientist and a mathematician. He charged nothing for his medical consultations and treated both the poor and the affluent people in the area.
He was the first man in Aberdeenshire to have a barometer, and his ability to forecast the weather alerted the suspicions of the local presbytery who suspected him of wizardry.
He moved to Aberdeen where he constructed an improved model of a cannon,with the help of an Aberdeen watchmaker. He forwarding it to his eldest son David, to show to Sir Isaac Newton, who was horrified and held that it was 'for the diabolical purpose of increasing carnage', and urged him to break it up.David Gregorie married twice and had 29 children. His sons David, James and Charles became Professors of Mathematics at different universities at he same time.