Boswell, Alexander

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Boswell, Alexander Gender: M
born on 9 October 1775 at 19:30 (= 7:30 PM )
Place Auchinleck, Scotland, 55n28, 4w17
Timezone LMT m4w17 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 16°19' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 27°02 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 19°53'


Scottish poet, antiquary, song writer, and the first surviving son of Samuel Johnson's friend and biographer James Boswell of Auchinleck. Alexander Boswell used the funds from his inheritance to pay for a seat in Parliament and then successfully sought a baronetcy for his political support of the government. However his finances subsequently collapsed and after being revealed as the author of violent attacks on a rival, he died as a result of wounds received in a duel.

Having abandoned a legal career, Boswell developed his interest in old Scottish authors and became a poet and bibliophile, becoming friends with Walter Scott. In 1815 he established a private press at Auchinleck which printed the poetry of his circle. He wrote some popular Scottish songs, of which Jenny's Bawbee and Jenny dang the Weaver are the best known. He was also a Captain in the Ayr yeomanry from 1803, promoted to Major in 1815 and becoming the Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant in 1816.

After leaving Parliament, Boswell wrote a series of virulent but anonymous attacks in two Scottish newspapers attacking a prominent Whig (James Stuart of Dunearn) as a bully and a coward. Eventually Boswell challenged Stuart to a duel. They met on 26 March 1822 at Auchtertool, near Kirkcaldy in Fife. Boswell deliberately fired wide, but Stuart, who had never before handled a gun, shot Boswell in the collarbone. Boswell was taken to Balmuto House, part of the Boswell family estate, and died the following day.

He left assets of £10,000 and debts of £72,000. Stuart was unanimously found not guilty of murder at his trial. Over 11,000 people attended Boswell's funeral and the funeral procession was over a mile long.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • child->parent relationship with Boswell, James (born 18 October 1740 Jul.Cal. (29 Oct 1740 greg.))


  • Death by Homicide 27 March 1822 (Shot in a duel, age 46)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield cites father's journal quoted in Boswell's Edinburgh Journals 1767-1786 edited by ‎Hugh M. Milne (Birlinn, 2001), pp. 197-198: "MONDAY 9 OCTOBER [1775]. My wife having been seized with her pains in the night, I got up about three o'clock, and between four and five Dr. Young came. He and I sat upstairs mostly till between three and four, when, after we had dined, her labour became violent.... Between seven and eight I went into the room. She was just delivered."


  • Family : Childhood : Family noted
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Inheritance
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Loss - Bankruptcy
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Homicide victim
  • Vocation : Education : Librarian (Antiquary)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Song writer
  • Vocation : Military : Military career
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor
  • Notable : Awards : Knighted