Alexander Carlyle, minister of the Church of Scotland and author of the celebrated “Autobiography,” was born at Cummmertrees Manse, Dumfriesshire, on January 26, 1722, and died at Inveresk on August 25, 1805.
His commanding appearance won for him the sobriquet of “Jupiter Carlyle,” and Sir Walter Scott spoke of him as “the grandest demi-god I ever saw.” He was greatly respected in Scotland as a wise and tolerant man, where too many were narrow, bitter, and inquisitorial. With regard to freedom in religious thought he was in advance of his time, and brought the clerical profession into greater respect by showing himself a cultured man of the world as well as a leader of his Church. Carlyle, however, would hardly be remembered now but for the glimpses which his book gives of contemporary persons and manners. The work was first edited in 1860 by John Hill Burton.