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Carlyle, Alexander

CARLYLE, ALEXANDER (1722-1805), Scottish divine, was born on the 26th of January 1722, in Dumfriesshire, and passed his youth and early manhood at Prestonpans, where he witnessed the battle of 1745. He was educated at Edinburgh (M.A. 1743), Glasgow and Leiden. From 1748 until his death on the 28th of August 1805 he was minister at Inveresk in Midlothian, and during this long career rose to high eminence in his church not only as leader of the moderate or "broad" Church section, but as moderator of the General Assembly 1770 and dean of the Chapel Royal in 1789. His influence was enhanced by his personal appearance, which was so striking as to earn him the name of "Jupiter Carlyle"; and his autobiography (published 1860), though written in his closing years and not extending beyond the year 1770, is abundantly interesting as a picture of Scottish life, social and ecclesiastical, in the 18th century. Carlyle's memory recalled the Porteous Riots of 1736, and less remotely his friendship with Adam Smith, David Hume, and John Home, the dramatist, for witnessing the performance of whose tragedy Douglas he was censured in 1757. He was distinctly a bon vivant, but withal an upright, conscientious and capable minister.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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