Alexander, Sir William, 1st Earl of Stirling

1570-1640

Sir William Alexander was a Scottish poet, politician, and courtier, born at Menstrie, Clackmannanshire sometime around 1570, the son of Alexander Alexander of Menstrie. He served as a tutor to the Earl of Argyll and later as a gentleman usher to Prince Charles (the future Charles I of England).

His main claim to fame is an unsuccessful attempt in 1620 to establish a Scottish colony in the New World at Nova Scotia (New Scotland), now part of Canada. He established a settlement at Port Royal under the governorship of his own son, William Alexander, but the venture proved a costly failure, and he lost much of his personal fortune in the venture.

From 1626 until 1640 Alexander served Charles I of England as Scottish secretary, and in 1633 he was raised to the Earldom of Stirling. The most famous of his literary works is the 1604 volumn of sonnets entitled 'Aurora'. He also wrote rhymed tragedies and helped King James VI compile 'The Psalms of King David'.

Time period(s): Tudor Stuart

Tags: Sir William Alexander   Charles I   James VI   James I   Stirling  

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