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Significant Scots
Robert MacFarlane


MACFARLANE, ROBERT,a political and miscellaneous writer, was born in the year 1734, and educated at the university of Edinburgh. At an early period of life he proceeded to London, in search of a livelihood, and for many years kept an academy of considerable reputation at Walthamstow. He engaged warmly in the political disputes which took place during the Bute administration; and, in 1770, concentrated his sentiments respecting them in a "History of the Reign of George III.," 8vo. This work, without possessing any large share of intrinsic merit, had a curious history. The author quarrelled with the publisher, (Mr Evans,) who, in 1782, issued a second, and, in 1794, a third volume, both written by a different person; Mr Macfarlane, then became reconciled to Mr Evans, and added a fourth volume. Mr Macfarlane at one time edited the Morning Chronicle. He was also engaged, it is said, in the preparation of the Poems of Ossian, some of which he afterwards translated into Latin verse. He had an essay upon the authenticity of those celebrated productions in the press, when he was crushed to death in one of the mobs which distinguished the election contest for Westminster, between Sir Francis Burdett and Mr Mainwaring, August 8, 1804. In 1797, Mr Macfarlane published "An Address to the People of Great Britain, on the present Fortune and future Prospect of Public Affairs," by which it appears that he had now become more attached to the government than he had formerly been. In 1801, he published an English translation of Buchanan’s celebrated tract, "De Jure Regni," prefaced with two disputations, in which there is much curious antiquarian and historical matter.


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