Walter Boyd was probably born 18 November 1753 in the north of Scotland, though the names of his parents are unknown. He died at Plaistow Lodge, near Bromley, Kent, on 16 September 1837. Other than a brother, Archibald, it is not known if he had other siblings. Little is known of his early life. It is possible that he was educated abroad, in Amsterdam and Switzerland, and served as a merchant apprentice in France. Reliable records about his life start only in 1774, when he undertook the position of agent to manage farms in Lincolnshire. Having left this position in 1781 seeking better prospects, in 1782 he began a career as an assistant manager for a newly formed merchant bank in the Austrian Netherlands. This was the beginning of a merchant banking career that was to continue, in fits and starts, until his death. Boyd also served in Parliament, being elected MP for Shaftesbury (1796–1796) and Lymington (1823–30).
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.