Biography of Alexander Macfarlane
Alexander Macfarlane (d1755) was a merchant in Jamaica who bequeathed his collection of astronomy instruments to the University. The instruments were put in working order by James Watt, who was paid £5 for his services. The University built the MacFarlane Observatory on Dowhill in 1757 to house the instruments.
Macfarlane was son of John Macfarlane of Arrochar and brother of Walter, an eminent antiquary. He graduated MA from the University in 1728 before going to Jamaica, where he became a merchant, plantation owner, assistant judge and a member of the Legislative Assembly.