Thomas McCrie was born in Duns in November 1772. After receiving his elementary education at the parish school, he was by the age of 15 to be found teaching in two local village schools. In 1788 he went to Edinburgh University, graduated, and went to teach in Brechin in May 1791, in a school connected to an Antiburgher congregation there. He was ordained in 1796, but was ejected from his pastorate, for his views, in 1809.
In 1812 he published his life of John Knox, which has been described as 'a work of genius and erudition'. In 1813 he was made Doctor of Divinity, and was Professor of Divinity at Edinburgh from 1816 - 1818. His life of Andrew Melville was published in 1819. Thereafter he continued to write and publish other religious tracts.
He died, in Edinburgh, on August 6th 1835.