Alexander Ranken (1755-1824) was a minister and author. He has the distinction of featuring in The Book of Scottish Anecdotes, with the entry as above.
His style of preaching was said to be “distinguished by the utmost perspicuity, chasteness, and simplicity”. Betwen 1802 and 1822 he worked on ‘The History of France‘, published in 9 volumes. His work recieved criticism, particularly the first three volumes, for being “inaccurate and badly arranged”.