Falconer, William, born at Edinburgh in 1732, of humble parents and brought up as a sailor, developed a taste for poetry, and in 1751 produced some verses on The Death of the Prince of Wales. About ten years later he brought out The Shipwreck, based on his personal experiences, and became famous. He now left the sea for a time, and lived in Scotland with his relative, Robertson, the historian, compiling a useful Marine Dictionary, and a political sketch entitled The Demagogue. He tuned his lyre also to the praise of the Duke of York, and was rewarded with the post of purser to the Royal George. In 1769 he sailed on board the Aurora for the East Indies, but the vessel was never heard of again.