Robert Alves, a minor poet, was born at Elgin in 1745, and studied at Aberdeen, where he took his degrees of philosophy in 1766. His poetical talents gained him the friendship Dr. Beattie and other gentlemen of literary tastes. He afterwards became parish schoolmaster at Deskford, and in 1773 removed to Banff. In 1779 he went to Edinburgh, where he maintained himself by teaching the classics. He is said to have left Banff on account of a disappointment in love. In 1782 he published a volume of poems, which attracted little notice. In 1789 appeared another of his works, entitled Edinburgh, a Poem, in Two Parts, and the Weeping Bard, in Sixteen Cantos, which were not without merit. He died on the 1st of January, 1794, leaving a laborious work in the press, entitled Sketches of a History of Literature, which was afterwards published.