James Chalmers of Fingland

Personal data
Mr. Chalmers of Fingland

Chalmers was a minor landowner and neighbour of the Boswells at Auchinleck. He married Euphemia Murdoch,1 with whom he had at least 2 daughters, 1) Cochrane (d. 1838), who married (1778), and later (1796) divorced, Hector Mackenzie, 4th Bart of Gairloch, and 2) Margaret (1763-1843), a sometime love interest of poet Robert Burns, who eventually married (1788) the banker Mr Lewis Hay (d. 1800) and died in Pau, France.2

Chalmers eventually had to sell his property Fingland, acquiring a farm near Mauchline instead. Boswell mentions Chalmers leasing a farm from Lord Auchinleck in 1762.3

  • 1. Euphemia was the daughter of the last laird of Cumloddan.
  • 2.  http://www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia/ChalmersMargaret17631511843.203.shtml
  • 3. In [BJJ], September 19, 1762
Life with Boswell

Chalmers accompanied Boswell on the first part of his harvest jaunt, beginning on September 14, 1762. He seems to have been a fairly close friend of the family. When they parted company on September 19, Boswell described him as "a man of moderate understanding and some taste, very honest and very obliging. [...] He seemed sorry to leave me."