Scientist. Born in Glasgow, the son of a cheesemonger, Ure studied medicine at the University in that city and also attended the University of Edinburgh. He served briefly as an army surgeon before becoming Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy at Andersonian Institution (now the University of Strathclyde). In 1809, he helped found the Glasgow Observatory and was appointed the first City Astronomer.
Ure moved to London in 1830 and became a consulting chemist. He was appointed Analytical Chemist to the Board of Customs in 1834 and became involved in forensic science. He was elected an early Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society, a founder member of the Astronomical Society and became a Fellow of the Royal Society (1822). Ure was also influential in the field of meteorology.
He is also a prodigious author producing many scientific papers and books such as a Dictionary of Chemistry (1821), a New System of Geology (1829) and a Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines (1853).
Ure died in London.