Boyd, Hugh

, a writer who would scarcely have deserved notice, if he had not been obtruded on the public as the author of Junius’s Letters, was the second son of Alexander Macauley, esq. of the county of Antrim, in Ireland. He was born in 1746; was educated at Trinity college, Dublin; and was designed for the bar; but, instead of prosecuting his original views, came over to London, where, under the patronage of Mr. Richard Burke, he soon became known both in the literary and fashionable world. A propensity to extravagance had already reduced him to considerable embarrassments, when, in 1777, he married a lady of good fortune; but this relief was only temporary; for the same expensive habits still continued, and at length obliged him to accompany lord Macartney to Madras, in the capacity of a second secretary. He remained there after his lordship’s return, and died in 1791, having for some years previously to his death, held the lucrative office of master attendant, with little advantage to his circumstances. He wrote in Ireland, a political periodical paper, called “The Freeholder,” in 1772; an Introduction to lord Chatham’s | speeches on the American war, reported and published by him; and the “Whig,” published in Almon’s newspaper, the London Courant, in 1780. In I?y4, he also wrote a few periodical essays called “The Indian Observer,” published at Madras. These were reprinted in an 8vo volume, in 1798, by thejate Mr. Laurence Dundas Campbell, with a view to establish an assertion which Almon first made, if we mistake not, purporting that Mr. Boyd was the author of Junius; but unfortunately the reader has “the bane and antidote” both before htm in this volume, and few attempts of the kind can be conceived more injudicious than a comparison between the styles of Boyd and Junius. Boyd wrote after Junius, and, like most political writers, aims at his style; and the only conclusion which his friends have arrived at amounts tu this absurdity, that an imitator must be an original writer; and even this in the case of Mr. Boyd is peculiarly unfortunate, for his imitations are among the most feeble that have been ever attempted. Mr. Campbell returned to the charge, however, in 1800, with a publication of “The miscellaneous works of Hugh Boyd, the author of the Letters of Junius: with an account of his Life and Writings,” 2 vols. 8vo. 1


The above publications. Monthly Review, N. S. vol. XXVII. and XXXIV. See also another advocate for Mr. Boyd, in Mr. C. Chalmers’s “A pendhfto the Supplemental Apology, &c.1800.