Son of William Boyd, minister of Dalry in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. Degree in Theology from the U. of Glasgow (1723). Ordained minister of Wigton (1730).
Boswell lodged with Boyd at Wigton on the night between September 28 and 29, 1762. Boswell found him "a worthy man, not remarkable for great parts, but has a justness of sentiment and an easiness of manners which I liked greatly". They talked about various things, including Boswell's friend William McQuhae, who was born in the city and later on became an influential theologian.