Dalrymple, Alexander (1737-1808), was born near Edinburgh. At the age of sixteen he entered the East India Company's service, and getting on in it he was in 1759 employed to explore the Eastern Archipelago, and in 1704 to open up trade with China. In 1775 he was in the Council of Madras, and in 1779 he was appointed hydrographer to the Company, and from 1795-1808 to a similar post under the Admiralty. He appears to have been at the least eccentric, and having an idea that there existed an Antarctic continent, he proposed to the Government an exploration on condition that he should have for a term of years possession of the lands that he might discover. He produced some good maps, and interesting works.