Patrick Fraser Tytler

Patrick Fraser Tytler FRSE FSA(Scot) (30 August 1791 – 14 December 1849) was a Scottish advocate and historian. He was described as the "Episcopalian historian of a Presbyterian country".[1]


The son of Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, he was born in a house on George Street in Edinburgh's New Town.[2] He was named after his paternal uncle, Col Patrick Tytler. He was educated at the High School.

He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh in 1813; in 1816 he became King's counsel in the Exchequer, and practised as an advocate until 1832. At this time he was living at 36 Melville Street, a large terraced townhouse in Edinburgh's west end.[3]

He then moved to London, and it was largely owing to his efforts that a scheme for publishing state papers was carried out. Tytler was one of the founders of the Bannatyne Club and of the English Historical Society.

He died at Great Malvern on 24 December 1849.[4] His body was returned to Edinburgh for burial in the family vault, which lies within the sealed south-west section of Greyfriars Kirkyard known as the Covenanter's Prison.[4]

His biography (1859) was written by his friend John William Burgon.


Tytler first married Rachel Elisabeth Hog (sister of James Maitland Hog FRSE) on 30 March 1826 at Newliston and together they had 3 children, including Mary Stewart Fraser Tytler (1827–1887) who is buried in Grange Cemetery rather than in the family vault. Rachel died on 15 April 1835.

He then married on either 12 or 22 August 1845, in Richmond, his cousin, Anastasia Bonar, daughter of Thomson Bonar (1780–1828) of Campden, Kent, by his spouse Anastasia Jessie Gascoigne, widow of Charles Gascoigne, daughter of Dr Matthew Guthrie of Halkerton.[5]


Tytler is most noted for his literary output. He contributed to Archibald Alison's Travels in France (1815); his first independent essays were papers in Blackwood's Magazine. His major work, the History of Scotland (1828–1843), covered the period between 1249 and 1603. A second edition was published in 1841–1843.[6] The seventh volume deals with the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots after her marriage with Darnley.[7]

His other works include:


  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1790
  3. "Edinburgh Post Office annual directory, 1832-1833". National Library of Scotland. p. 195. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  4. "Former fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-2002" (PDF). Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  5. Sweet, Jessie M. (1964). "Matthew Guthrie (1743–1807): An eighteenth-century gemmologist". Annals of Science. 20 (4): 245–302. doi:10.1080/00033796400203104. PMID 11615679.
  6. Tytler, Patrick Fraser. History of Scotland (2nd ed.). London: W. Tait; 1841–1843
  7. "Review of History of Scotland by P. F. Tytler, Vol. VII". The Quarterly Review. 67: 303–344. March 1841.
  8. "Review of England under the Reigns of Edward VI. and Mary ... by Patrick Fraser Tytler". The Quarterly Review. 65: 52–76. December 1839.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tytler, William". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

  • The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with their Descendants, etc., by Messrs, John and John Bernard Burke, London, volume 1 (1848) pedigree CLXXIX.

The contents of the missing Volume V above, from the 3rd Edition, are contained in a later edition, immediately following (which itself is from an incomplete edition of Tytler's History).

Several of his other works

Works about him and his publications

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