Dugald Buchanan ~ Gaelic Poet

Dugald Buchanan (1716-1768) – Gaelic poet – was born at Ardoch Farm, Strathtyre (near Balquhidder) in Perthshire. After some schooling at Stirling and Edinburgh, Buchanan began work as an apprentice carpenter. An early spirituality was formalised by the attending of a college of divinity in Glasgow (early 1740s). Buchanan atones for the wildness of his youth in the confessional diaries he kept between 1741 and 1750. He drew upon these when writing his laoidhibh sporadic(spiritual hymns). In 1749 he married (Margaret Brisbane) – together they had at least four children – and returned home to Ardoch Farm. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge appointed him to teach Christianity (and later catechism) in a Kinloch Rannoch school. With Reverend James Stewart of Killin, he helped to produce the first Gaelic New Testament. This assignment based at Edinburgh allowed him to attend university lectures and provided him with the opportunity to publish his first book of poems. Buchanan’s poetry draws upon his religious convictions and on the backdrop of Perthshire. His poetry was widely read and acknowledged and he continued writing up to his death from fever in 1768. There is a memorial to Dugald Buchanan in Strathtyre.