Galt, John (1779-1839), a Scottish novelist and trader, was born at Irvine, in Ayrshire. After a desultory education, he became a clerk at Greenock, but his versatility of character soon took him to London, where he tried his hand at literature, and entered at Lincoln's Inn, and after projecting a
Life of Wolsey, he embarked for the Continent, upon an errand connected with the embargo laid upon British commerce by Napoleon. In the course of this voyage he visited Greece, Constantinople, and Asia Minor, and made the acquaintance of Lord Byron. After returning- to London, he made another voyage to Gibraltar with a similar object. These voyages he commemorated in Voyages and Iravcls and in Letters from the Levant, but these works were not well received. Later in life be made an expedition to Canada, which proved disastrous, and lie returned home to die in poor circumstances at Greenock. Of his many works those which have made most impression are The Annals of the Parish (1821), The Provost, Sir Andrew G. Wglie, and The Entail (1823).