GUTHRIE, WILLIAM, was born at Brechin, in the county of Angus, Scotland, according to one account, in 1701, according to another in 1708. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen ; but little or nothing is known of his early years, except that it is said he was induced to leave his native country by a disappointment in love, on which he came to London, and commenced writing for the booksellers. Ile was one of the most popular compilers of his day, and must have been one of the most industrious writers ever known, if he was the anther of all the voluminous works to which his name is prefixed. Among them are a History of England,' which though only brought down to the Restoration, extends to three thick folio volumea • a ' History of Scotland,' 10 vols. 8vo ; a' General History of the World,' 13 vole. 8vo ; a History of tho Peerage,' 1 vol. 4to; a translation of the Institutes of Quintilian,' 2 vole. 4to ; translations of nearly all the writings of Cicero ; ' The Friends,' a novel, in 2 vols. Svo; Remarks on English Tragedy,' &c. But In the preparation of most of these work, he is believed to have had little share, beyond lending them his name, which it would appear was in repute with the booksellers. The well-known Geographical Grammar' which bears his name is believed to have been compiled by a bookseller in the Strand, of the name of Knox. Guthrie found the trade of authorship not an unprosperons one; and to what he gained with his pen was, in course of time, added a pension from government, which it may be supposed he earned by some writings acceptable to the court, or by other unknown political services. Ile was also placed in the commis
sion of the peace for Middlesex, although it is said he never acted as a magistrate. He died in 1770. Guthrie's 'General History of England, from the Invasion of the Romans under Julius Caesar to the late Revolution in 1688,' which is the historical work of which his claim to the authorship is the most undoubted, is written in a style by no means without warmth and animation, though it has not much claim to the praise either of condensation, judgment, or research. The author is rather fond of new and peculiar views—one instance of which that may be mentioned is the light in which he endeavours to place the conduct and character of Richard IlL, many of the common stories in regard to whom heilisputes in a manner that led him after wards to claim the honour of having anticipated nearly all that was most remarkable in Horace Walpole'a ' Historic Doubts.' But in truth both he and Walpole had been long before preceded in the same line of argument by Sir George Buck : yet oddly enough, within the laet few pars the theory has been again revived with eomo little parade of originality.