Most famous for his three-volume work The History of British India, this late 18th and early 19th-century political philosopher and historian also penned Elements of Political Economy (a work largely based on the ideas of David Ricardo) and An Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind.
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh and before becoming widely known as a scholar, he briefly pursued a career as a Church of Scotland minister.
He belonged to a group of 19th-century British thinkers known as the "Philosophical Radicals."
His marriage to Harriet Burrow resulted in several children, including a son,
He was a contemporary, friend, and supporter of the famous English philosopher Jeremy Bentham.