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Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813) - Historian

He was born on 15 October 1747 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of William Tytler of Woodhouselee. He was educated at the High School Of Edinburgh and spent two years at an academy in London, before matriculating at the University of Edinburgh. He was called to the Scottish Bar on 23 Janurary 1770 and practised as an advocate, being appointed Judge-Advocate in 1790, and to the Court of Session in 1802, taking the title 'Lord Woodhouselee'. As well as practising law Tytler pursued another career: he was appointed Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh in 1780 and was praised by Lord Cockburn for his 'elegant and judicious' lectures. He published several historical texts and a History of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1787). He was a member of the group of contributors to The Mirror and The Lounger, and in later life he published several legal texts, edited a collection of the works of Allan Ramsay and wrote a life of Henry Home, Lord Kames. After his death on 5 January 1813 his youngest son, Patrick Fraser Tytler, followed in his footsteps as an eminent historian.

Works: Disputatio juridica (1769); ed., Piscatory Eclogues of Phineas Fletcher (1771); Plan and Outline of a Course of Lectures on Universal History (1782); A History of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1787); Essay on the Principle of Translation (1797); Essay on Military Law and the Practice of Courts Martial (1800); ed., The Poetical Works of Allan Ramsay (1800); Remarks on the Genius and Writings of Allan Ramsay (1800); Elements of General History Ancient and Modern (1801); Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Henry Home of Kames (1807); An Historical and Critical Essay on the Life and Character of Petrarch (1810); Considerations on the Present Political State of India (1815); Travels in France during the Years 1814-1815 (1816).

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