1756 - Born at Stockbridge 0n the 4th of March.
1772 - He was apprenticed to the jeweller James Gilliland but began painting water-colour miniatures of his friends.
1778 - He married a wealthy widow of independent means, whose dowry permitted him to devote himself entirely to painting.
1784 - He travelled to London where he met Sir Joshua Reynolds whose style was to exert a great influence upon him.
1787 - He returned to Edinburgh, and began a successful career as a portrait-painter. In that year he executed a seated portrait of the second Lord President Dundas.
1812 - He was elected president of the Society of Artists in Edinburgh.
1814 - Associate, and in the following year full member of the Royal Scottish Academy.
1815 - His reputation spread beyond Edinburgh and he became a member of the Royal Academy.
1822 - He was knighted by George IV and appointed His Majesty's limner for Scotland.
1823 - He died at Edinburgh on the 8th of July.
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