From 1777 to 1783 James Boswell was a columnist for the London Magazine, writing a total of seventy essays under the pseudonym the Hypochondriack.
Urie was Boswell's man-servant for the greater part of his Harvest Jaunt, 1762. He is mentioned on October 22, 1762, when Boswell writes that "[m]y boy is now wanted by his master, so I sent him home upon my brown mare. His name is Walter Urie, a young well-looked lad, a little simple, but very honest, sober, and careful. I told him that he had been a very good servant, and gave him half a guinea, which made him happy".