Born in Roxburghshire, Robert Shiels came to London tow work as a journeyman printer. A Jacobite, he lived an impoverished writer in London, compiling the Lives of the Poets (1753) published under the name of Theophilus Cibber, and assisting Samuel Johnson with the Dictionary (1755).
Marriage. A poetical essay. 1748.
Musidorus: a poem sacred to the memory of Mr. James Thomson. 1748.
The lives of the poets of Great Britain and Ireland [editor]. 5 vols, 1753.