A native of Orkney, David Vedder was an orphan who was largely self-taught. He went to sea and at the age of twenty-two was captain of a Greenland whaler; he was afterwards appointed first officer of an armed cruiser (1815) and tide-surveyor (1820). Vedder, who spent his later years in Edinburgh, pursued a successful career as poet, essayist, and translator (having mastered French, Italian, and German). He edited the Edinburgh Literary Gazette.
The covenanters' communion and other poems. 1828.
Memoir of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.: with critical notices of his writings. 1832.
Orcadian sketches; legendary and lyrical pieces. 1832.
Poems, legendary, lyrical and descriptive now first collected. 1842.
Pictorial giftbook, or lays and lithography. 1848.
The story of Reynard the Fox. 1854.
Poems, lyrics, and sketches. 1855.