Birrel, Robert (DNB00)
|←Birnie, William||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 05
BIRREL, ROBERT (fl. 1567-1605), diarist, was a burgess of Edinburgh. His ‘Diary, containing Divers passages of Staite, and Uthers Memorable Accidents. From the 1532 yeir of our Redemption, till ye Beginnin of the yeir 1605,’ was published in 1798 in 'Fragments of Scottish History,' edited by Sir John Graham Dalyell. Extracts from the ‘Diary’ were also published in 1820. There is not much minuteness in the record of events till about 1567, when Birrel probably began to keep a note of them. There is no evidence in the ‘Diary’ regarding the political or religious views of the writer, facts being simply recorded as they happened, without comment or any apparent bias of opinion. There is some evidence that the work was intended for publication, the writer having apparently taken some trouble to collect his facts. A considerable part of it was incorporated by Sir James Balfour in his ‘Annals.' The original manuscript is in the Advocates’ Library.
[Diary as ahove.]