Colwil, Alexander

, a Scotch divine and poet, was born near St. Andrew’s in Fifeshire, 1620, and educated in the university of Edinburgh, where he took his degree of D. D. and was settled minister at Dysart. In 1662 he complied with the act of uniformity, and was appointed principal of the university of Edinburgh, in the room of | Dr. Leighton, promoted to the see of Dumblane. He wrote several controversial tracts, most of which are now forgotten; but that which particularly recommends him to the notice of the public, is a humorous poem entitled “Scotch Hudibras,” written in the manner of Butler. This book gave great offence to the presbyterians but still, although little known in England, is well esteemed in Scotland. He died at Edinburgh 1676, aged 58.

This account, we know not on what authority, appeared in the last edition of this Dictionary, and we suspect is erroneous, unless there were two Colwils, or Colvils, who both wrote in imitation of Butler. In 1681 one Samuel Colvil published, at London, “The mock poem, or the Whig’s supplication,” 12mo. 1


Last edit, of this Dict.—Irving’s Lives of the Scotch Poets.—Campbell’s Introduction to the History of Scotish Poetry.