Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/McLaren, William

McLAREN, WILLIAM (1772–1832), Scottish poet, was born at Paisley in 1772, became a hand-loom weaver, and at one period went to Ireland as a manufacturer, but had to return owing to a too strong expression of political opinions. Latterly he opened a public-house in Paisley, and died there 2 May 1832. He developed an early taste for literature, and became intimate with Robert Tannahill [q. v.], whose volume of verse, published in 1807, was dedicated to him. In 1815 he edited, with a memoir, 'Poems and Songs' by Tannahill; and in 1818, also with a memoir, the posthumous works of his relative, James Scadlock, a minor Paisley poet. He collected his own verse, most of which is of slight merit, in two volumes, entitled respectively ' Emma, or the Cruel Father; a Poetical Tale, with other Poems and Songs' (1817), and 'Isabella, or the Robbers' (1827). He wrote also several pamphlets of ephemeral interest.

[Brown's Poets of Paisley, i. 78, 98; Harp of Renfrewshire, 1st and 2ndser.; Rogers's Scottish Minstrel, p. 126.]

J. C. H.