In 1764 Wright became the assistant to a Dr. Gray in Kingston, Jamaica. He stayed on the island until 1777. He enrolled in the British Navy in 1779 and was captured by the French.
He returned to Jamaica in 1782 and the following year became Physician in Chief of the colony. He returned to Edinburgh in 1785. He joined an expedition led by Sir Ralph Abercromby (1734–1801) exploring the Caribbean from 1796 to 1798.
The grave of Dr William Wright, Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
Ray Desmond (1994). Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists including Plant Collectors, Flower Painters and Garden Designers. Taylor & Francis and The Natural History Museum (Londres).
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