1779–1839, Scottish novelist. He went to Canada as secretary for the Canada Company, founding there in 1827 the town of Guelph and encouraging Canadian immigration. He wrote poems, blank-verse tragedies, and travel books, but he is known chiefly for his novels of Scottish country life, notably The Ayrshire Legatees
(1821), Annals of the Parish
(1821), and The Entail
(1823). While traveling on the Continent as a young man, he made the acquaintance of Lord Byron, of whom he wrote a biography that appeared in 1830.
See his autobiography (1833); biography by I. A. Gordon (1973).
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