Boswell family. Papers of Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck (1706-1782)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 MS 2671; Gen. 2212/2; La.II.91; La.II.176; La.III.331; La.III.619/1; La.Add.6/75-76; E90.96
  • Dates of Creation
      18th century
  • Physical Description
      Miscellaneous manuscripts

Scope and Content

The papers of Alexander Boswell consist of manuscript correspondence and transcripts including: a copy made by himself of the manuscript by William Scott, Professor of Greek, entitled Annotata in libros A et B Homeri Iliados, at MS 2671; and, a transcript of a history of the University of Edinburgh, 1580-1646, but ending with the year 1623. There is a tranche of 17 letters from 1741 at E90.96. Papers held within the Laing Collection include: letters to Professor C. Mackie, at La.II.91; and La.II.176; transfer of bonds, at La.Add.6/75 and 76; manuscript notes on De verborum significatione with a letter to James Boswell, at La.II.619/1; a volume of extracts from a manuscript entitled Several things relating to the bishoprics and religious foundations in Scotland, 1732, at La.III.331; a mention in a letter, 1754, at La.II.91; letters about printing, 1813-1818, at La.IV.6.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck, was born in 1706. His father was the advocate James Boswell of Auchinleck and his mother was Lady Elizabeth Bruce, the third daughter of Alexander 2nd Earl of Kincardine. He studied at the University of Leiden, in the Netherlands, graduating on 29 December 1727. Earlier, in July 1727, he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland. In 1748 he was appointed Sheriff-Depute of Wigtownshire and in 1754 he became an ordinary Lord of Session. In July 1755 he was also appointed as a Lord Justiciary. Lord Auchinleck was twice married. His first wife was Euphemia Erskine, and they had three sons one of whom was James Boswell who would become renowned as a diarist and the biographer of Samuel Johnson. His second wife was his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of John Boswell of Balmuto. Alexander Boswell died in Edinburgh on 25 August 1782.

Acquisition Information

Boswell's copy of Annotata, purchased January 1983, Accession no. E83.9. Boswell's transcript of the history, purchased June 1985, Accession no. E85.33.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: notes on logic lectures, 1723, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. MS 3938; and, notes on Mackenzie's Institutions, 1727, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. Adv MS 17 22 1.

Corporate Names