James Rorie was 4 April 1838 in Arbroath and educated at Arbroath Academy. In 1855 he began studying at Edinburgh University as a medical student graduating in 1859 as a Doctor of Medicine. In the same year he also received a diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons. He then began working in the old Dundee Asylum and was appointed Superintendent in 1860. Throughout his life Dr Rorie was an important member of the Glasite Church and in 1872 married Margaret Baxter with whom he raised a family. He was later involved in the building of the new asylum at Westgreen, Liff which eventually became the Royal Dundee Liff Hospital. In 1891 Dr Rorie was appointed lecturer on Mental Diseases in the Medical Department at Dundee University College. He died in 1911.