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Patrick Fraser Tytler (1791-1849) - Historian

He was born on 30th August 1791 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, and the grandson of William Tytler. He was educated at the High School Of Edinburgh and at the University, where he studied law, being called to the Scottish Bar in July 1813. Having private means he turned to the life of a man of  letters on his father's estate of Woodhouselee, south of Edinburgh. In 1814 he toured Europe with the historian Archibald Alison and his first literary efforts were published in Blackwood's Magazine. With Sir Walter Scott, he helped to establish the Bannatyne Club, for which he edited one book. The Memoirs of the War in Scotland and Ireland, 1689-1691, by Major General Hugh MacKay. It was Scott who suggested that Tytler should write the History of Scotland on which his reputation rests. Although it was attacked by several critics for his high Church stance, Tytler's history demonstrates his sound use of state documents and his unmuddled, analytical mind. The history covers the period from the reign of Alexander III to the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England in 1603. Tytler was a tireless advocate for the proper care of state papers and it was he who persuaded the government to allow the publication of public records. Among his minor works are a study of James Crichton of Cluny, The Admirable Crichton', and Lives of the Scottish Worthies (1831-3). For a time Tytler lived in London and towards the end of his life he travelled on the Continent in pursuit of better health. He died on 24th December 1849 at Malvern and is buried in Greyfriars' Churchyard in Edinburgh.

Works: Life of James Crichton of Cluny (1819); An Account of the Life and Writings of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccanon (1823); Life of John Wicklyff (1826); History of Scotland, 9 vols. (1828-43); Lives of the Scottish Worthies, 3 vols. (1831-3); A Historical View of the Progress of Discovery of the more Northern Coasts of America (1832); Life of Sir Walter Raleigh (1833); Life of King Henry VIII (1837); England under the Reigns of Edward VI and Mary (1839); Memorable Wars of Scotland (1861).

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