John Macgregor, a British statistician, born at Stornoway, Ross-shire, in 1797, died in Boulogne, April 23, 1857. At an early age he was placed in a commercial house in Canada. On his return to England he was employed on commercial missions to various continental governments, and in 1840 he was appointed one of the two joint secretaries of the board of trade. He became an advocate of free-trade measures, and exerted his influence with Joseph Hume to cause the appointment in the house of commons of a select committee on the import duties. In 1847 he resigned his office and was elected to parliament for Glasgow. He established the Royal British bank, but lacked the qualifications for the governorship of such an institution, and, to escape the legal investigation which followed its failure, retired to Boulogne. He published "Sketch of British America" (1828); "Emigration to British America " (1829); "My Note Book" (1835), an account of his travels on the continent; " Commercial and Financial Legislation of Europe and America " (1841); " Commercial Statistics of all Nations " (5 vols., 1844-'50); " Progress of America from the Discovery by Columbus to 1846 " (2 vols., 1847); "Holland and the Dutch Colonies " (1848); " Germany and her Resources " (1848); and "History of the British Empire, from the Accession of James I." (2 vols., 1852), a work left incomplete at his death.
He was also the author of many commercial reports.