Alexander Balfour


Alexander Balfour, Scottish novelist and poet, was born in Monikie, Fifeshire and raised by a relative. He was apprenticed to a weaver, afterwards teaching school and contributed to periodicals. In 1792 he became a clerk, and later partner in a cloth-making establishment. After his business failed in 1818 he worked as an accountant for an Edinburgh bookseller; later, suffering from partial paralysis, he took to writing essays and novels. There is a memoir by David Macbeth Moir prefacing Balfour's Weeds and Wildflowers (1830).


1797Pastoral, in the Scotch Dialect, between Sandy and Colin, occasioned by the untimely Death of Mr. Robert Burns.
1803To the Memory of James Beattie, L.L.D. Author of the Minstrel.
1820Elegy written among the Ruins of the Royal Palace at Falkland.
1820On hearing the Bells ring for Public Worship — November, 1820.
1823The Ploughman's Death and Burial.


The genius of Caledonia, a poem on the threatened Invasion. 1798.
Campbell, or the Scottish probationer. A novel. 3 vols, 1819.
Contemplation; with other poems. 1820.
The farmer's three daughters. A Novel. 3 vols, 1822.
The foundling of Glenthorn. 3 vols, 1823.
Characters, omitted in Crabbe's Parish register, with other poems. 1825.
Highland Mary. 4 vols, 1826.
Weeds and Wildflowers. 1830.
King Robert Bruce's breakfast, a traditionary story. 1835.
The old maid and widow, or the widow the best wife. 1835.