Royall Tyler, 1757–1826, American jurist, author, and playwright, b. Boston, grad. Harvard, 1776. He served in the colonial army during the American Revolution and later in the suppression of Shays's Rebellion. Tyler was admitted to the bar in 1780; he practiced law in Maine, later in Massachusetts, and after 1790 in Vermont, where he was (1807–13) chief justice of the supreme court and professor of jurisprudence (1811–14) at the Univ. of Vermont. He is remembered for his play The Contrast (1787), which was the first American comedy produced by a professional company. He also wrote other plays and a novel, the Algerine Captive (1797). With Joseph Dennie he wrote witty Federalist verse and essays for the New Hampshire Journal.
See his Four Plays (ed. by A. W. Peach and G. F. Newbrough, 1941).