James Tytler was born in Brechin, Scotland and died in Salem, Massachusetts. The son of a minister, Tytler was apprenticed to a surgeon in Forfar and went on to attend medical classes at the University of Edinburgh, serving as a ship's surgeon during the vacations to pay his expenses. After a number of unsuccessful attempts to establish himself as a chemist and apothecary, Tytler returned to Edinburgh in 1772. Thereafter, he lived the life of a literary hack, never far from poverty.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.