Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Selkirk, Alexanderlocked

  • James William Kelly


Selkirk, Alexander (1676–1721), mariner, castaway, and probable source of inspiration for the character Robinson Crusoe, was born in Lower Largo, Fife, the seventh son of John Selcraig, shoemaker, and Euphan Mackie. He received schooling in Largo. His wilful nature manifested itself at an early age in his determination to go to sea against his father's wishes. In August 1695 a summons by the kirk session for ‘indecent carriage’ in church precipitated his departure. He had left for sea by 27 August, before he could be dealt with, and he did not reappear in ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription

Notes and Queries
National Archives of the United Kingdom, Public Record Office, London