William Tytler - Encyclopedia




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WILLIAM TYTLER (1711-1792), of Woodhouselee, Scottish historian and antiquarian, son of Alexander Tytler of Edinburgh, was born in that city on the 12th of October 1711. He was educated at the High School and the University, and was in 1744 admitted into the society of Writers to the Signet. In 1759 he published an Inquiry, Historical and Critical, defending the character of Mary, Queen of Scots, and in 1783 the Poetical Remains of James the First, King of Scotland. He died at Woodhouselee on the 12th of September 1792. His life, written by Henry Mackenzie, was published in 1796.

His SOn Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (1747-1813), Scottish judge, was born at Edinburgh on the 15th of October 1747. He was called to the Edinburgh bar in 1770. His first work, a supplement to Lord Kames's Dictionary of Decisions, entitled The Decisions of the Court of Session, was published in 1778, and a continuation appeared in 1796. In 1780 he was appointed conjoint professor of universal history in the university of Edinburgh, becoming sole professor in 1786. In 1783 he published Outlines of his course of lectures, extended and republished in 1801 under the title of Elements of General History. In 1790 he was appointed judge-advocate of Scotland, and while holding this office he wrote a Treatise on the Law of Courts-Martial. In 1801 he was raised to the bench, taking his seat (1802) in the court of session as Lord Woodhouselee. He died at Edinburgh on the 5th of January 1813.

Besides the works already mentioned, he wrote Life and Writings of Dr John Gregory (1788); Essay on the Principles of Translation (1790); a dissertation on Final Causes, prefixed to his edition of Derham's Physico-Theology (1799); a political pamphlet entitled Ireland profiting by Example (1799); an Essay on Laura and Petrarch (1801); and Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Henry Home of Karnes (1807).

Patrick Fraser Tytler (1791-1849) Scottish historian, son of Lord Woodhouselee, was born at Edinburgh on the 30th of August 1791. He was called to the bar in 1813; in 1816 he became king's counsel in the exchequer, and practised as an advocate until 1832. He contributed to Allison's Travels in France (1815); his first independent essays were papers in Blackwood's Magazine. His great work, the History of Scotland (1828-1843) covered the period between 124 9 and 1603. While occupied on this work Tytler removed to London, and it was largely owing to his efforts that a scheme for publishing state papers was carried out. Tytler was one of the founders of the Bannatyne Club and of the English Historical Society. He died at Great Malvern on the 14th of December 1849. His life (1859) was written by his friend, John W. Burgon, dean of Chichester.

His other works include: contributions to Thomson's Select Melodies of Scotland (1824); Life of James Crichton of Cluny, commonly called the Admirable Crichton (1819; 2nd ed., 1823); a Memoir of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton (1823); an Essay on the Revival of Greek Literature in Italy, and a Life of John Wickliff, published anonymously (1826); Lives of Scottish Worthies, for Murray's Family Library (1831-1833); Historical View of the Progress of Discovery in America (1832); Life of Sir Walter Raleigh (1833); Life of Henry VIII. (1837); England under the Reigns of Edward VI. and Mary, from original letters (1839); Notes on the Darnley Jewel (1843), and on the Portraits of Mary Queen of Scots (1845).

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