Biographer and traveller. Born in Edinburgh, the son of the prominent advocate Lord Auchinleck, Boswell was educated at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Utrecht. Although a lawyer by profession, Boswell travelled widely in Europe and is noted for his accounts of these journeys written in his distinctive style. Perhaps his best known work described his travels with Dr. Samuel Johnson to the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
On the death of his father in 1782, Boswell inherited the family estates at Auchinleck, East Ayrshire and he moved there to become a capable and well-liked Laird. He spent much of his time there writing the biography of his friend and mentor Johnson, which was published in 1791.