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Alexander Dalrymple

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DALRYMPLE, ALEXANDER, F.R.B., F.S.A., younger brother of the preceding, was b. at New Hailes, the seat of his father, near Edinburgh, 24th July, 1737. In 1752, he obtained an appointment in the East India company's service; but his extreme youth, as well as the imperfect education he had received at home, rendered it necessary, on his reaching Madras, that lie should be placed under the store-keeper for a time. Lord Pigot himself, at that time governor of the presidency, condescended to give him lessons in writing; but young D. having, unluckily for his own prospects, fallen upon some papers in the secretary's office relating to the commerce of the Eastern archipelago, became so engrossed with the importance of the subject, that, after some bickerings with his superiors, lie relinquished his appointment, and made a voyage of observation among the eastern islands. At Sooloo, in the course of his expedition, he concluded a commercial treaty with the sultan, which might have led to beneficial results; but on his return in 1762, he found political affairs entirely changed, small-pox raging, and most of his influential friends dead. The scheme, in consequence, proved a failure. In

1765, lie returned to Britain, to urge its importance on the home-authorities, but did not succeed. In 1775, however, he was sent out to Madras as a member of council, but was recalled in two years, apparently without good reason, for in 1779 he was appointed hydrographer to the East India company, and shortly after received a pension. In 1795, when the admiralty resolved to establish is similar office, it was conferred on D., who held it till within it short period of his death, which occurred 19th June, 1808, at Maryle bone, London. D. wrote a vast number of letters, pamphlets, etc., containing plans for the promotion of British commerce in various parts of the world, political dissertations, accounts of geographical expeditions, etc. His library was rich in works of navigation and geography, all of which were purchased by the admiralty. His collection of poetry, also very valuable, was deposited in the library at New Hailes, as a family heir loom.