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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Sarah Couper

McKay, Archibald (1801–1883), poet and topographer, was born at Kilmarnock, the son of Alexander McKay, farmer, and his wife, Janet, née McGill. After receiving a rudimentary education he was apprenticed to a hand-loom weaver, but subsequently became a bookbinder. He also operated a circulating library in ...


J. C. Hadden

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Mercer, Andrew (1775–1842), poet and topographer, was born in Selkirk. He was destined for the ministry, and in 1790 entered the University of Edinburgh. Ultimately he gave up theology, studied the fine arts, and tried unsuccessfully to make a living in Edinburgh as a miniature-painter, teacher of drawing, and man of letters. He wrote both in prose and verse for ...