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Adam [Adams], Jean (1704–1765), poet, was born on 28 April 1704 in Cartsdyke, near Greenock, Renfrewshire, one of five children of John Adam, a mariner, and his wife, Jean Eddie, reportedly a woman of little common sense. Jean Adam's scanty education comprised reading, writing, and sewing, but after her father's death when she was still young she entered domestic service with the minister of ...

Article

Adamson, Henry (bap. 1581, d. 1637), poet and historian, was baptized in Perth on 11 November 1581, the son of the merchant James Adamson (d. after 1617), who served as dean of guild in 1600 and provost between 1609 and 1612, and ...

Article

T. W. Bayne

revised by Douglas Brown

Ainslie, Hew (1792–1878), brewer and poet, was born on 5 April 1792 at Bargeny Mains in the parish of Dailly, Ayrshire, only son of the three children of George Ainslie, a butler on the estate of Sir Hew Dalrymple Hamilton. His mother's name is unknown, but ...

Article

Sidney Lee

revised by David Finkelstein

Aird, Thomas (1802–1876), poet, was born on 28 August 1802 at Bowden, Roxburghshire, the second son of James Aird, builder, and his wife, Isabella Paisley. He was educated at the parish school of Bowden, where he combined an enthusiasm for literature and sports. In 1816 he began undergraduate studies at the ...

Article

Francis Espinasse

revised by Sayoni Basu

Alves, Robert (1745–1794), poet, was born at Elgin on 11 December 1745. His father's circumstances were humble, and he was one of a large family but as a promising student he was placed at the Elgin grammar school. At Marischal College, Aberdeen, he won the highest bursary of the year in which he competed. An ...

Article

David Patrick

revised by Sayoni Basu

Anderson, Alexander [pseud. Surfaceman] (1845–1909), poet, was born on 30 April 1845 in the village of Kirkconnel in Upper Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire, the sixth and youngest son of the seven children of James Anderson, a quarryman, and his wife, Isabella Cowan. When the boy was three, the household moved to ...

Article

T. F. Henderson

revised by Grant P. Cerny

Armstrong, John (1771–1797), journalist and poet, was born in Leith on 7 June 1771, the son of James Armstrong, a barber of that town, and his wife, Mary Lautie. After attending Leith grammar school and the high school in Edinburgh, he entered Edinburgh University...

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Sir Robert Ayton (1570–1638) by Francesco Fanelli © Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Article

Ayton, Sir Robert (1570–1638), poet and courtier, was born at the castle of Kinaldie, near St Andrews, Fife, the second of four sons, to Andrew Ayton (d. 1589), landowner, and his wife, Mariona London or Lundie, daughter of the laird of Balgonie...

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James Beattie (1735–1803) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1773 [The Triumph of Truth, with the Portrait of a Gentleman] University of Aberdeen

Article

Beattie, James (1735–1803), poet and philosopher, was baptized at Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, on 25 October 1735, the youngest of six children of James Beattie (d. c.1742), tenant farmer and village shopkeeper, and Jean Watson (c.1692–1772). His father, who died when ...

Article

A. B. Grosart

revised by Sayoni Basu

Bethune, Alexander (1804–1843), poet, was born at Upper Rankeillor, in the parish of Monimail, Fife, in late July 1804, the eldest of the three sons of Alexander Bethune (d. 1838) and his wife, Alison Christie (d. 1840), daughter of Annie McDonald...

Article

Bethune, John (1812–1839), poet, was born at Upper Rankeillor, in the parish of Monimail, Fife, the second son of Alexander Bethune (d. 1838), agricultural day labourer, and his wife, Alison Christie (d. 1840), daughter of Annie McDonald. His elder brother was ...

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Thomas Blacklock (1721–1791) by William Bonnar Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Blacklock, Thomas (1721–1791), poet and writer, was born on 10 November 1721 in Annan, Dumfriesshire, the son of John Blacklock (d. 1740), a bricklayer from Cumberland, and his wife, Ann, the daughter of Richard Rae, a cattle dealer. In early infancy Blacklock...

Article

Gerard Carruthers

Blair, Robert (1699–1746), poet, was born in Edinburgh, the eldest son of the Revd David Blair (d. 1710), minister of the Old Kirk parish in Edinburgh and one of the king's chaplains, and his wife, Euphemia Nisbet, daughter of Alexander Nisbet of ...

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Sir Alexander Boswell, first baronet (1775–1822) by Sir Martin Archer Shee private collection; © reserved in the photograph

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Boswell, Sir Alexander, first baronet (1775–1822), poet and politician, was born on 9 October 1775 at James's Court, Edinburgh, the first son of James Boswell (1740–1795), the biographer of Samuel Johnson, and his wife, Margaret (1738?–1789) [see Boswell, Margaret Montgomerie], daughter of ...

Article

Boyd, Robert, of Trochrig (1578–1627), theological writer and poet, was born in Glasgow, the son of James Boyd of Trochrig, archbishop of Glasgow (d. 1581) and his wife, Margaret Chalmers, daughter of James Chalmers, baron of Gaithgirth. Robert was about three years old when his father died and his mother took him and his younger brother, ...

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Thomas Brown (1778–1820) by Henry Cousins, pubd 1845 (after George Watson, 1806) © National Portrait Gallery, London