Politician and minor poet. Alexander was born in the Clackmannanshire village of Menstrie, brought up in Stirling and educated at the Universities of Glasgow and Leiden. He was the author of the lengthy 'Doomesday', a series of tragedies and was closely acquainted with the poet William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585 - 1649).
He was a member of the court of King James VI (1566 - 1625). In 1621 he was granted lands in Canada, which he worked hard to colonise and named Nova Scotia or New Scotland. From 1626 he served as Secretary of State for Scotland. In 1631, he was made sole printer of King James' version of the Psalms
He was knighted (1609), created a Viscount (1633) and Earl of Stirling (1639), although suffering bankruptcy in his later years, died in London in poverty.