Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Robertson, John (1767-1810)

ROBERTSON, JOHN (1767–1810), minor poet, was born in Paisley on 30 Nov. 1767. His father, a prosperous grocer, gave him the best education Paisley could furnish. Business reverses, however, narrowed the father's means, and Robertson enlisted in the Fife militia in 1803, being speedily appointed to a regimental clerkship, and he is believed also to have acted as regimental schoolmaster (Rogers, Modern Scottish Minstrel). He interested himself in literature, but he seems to have become dissipated and melancholy, and committed suicide at Kilsea, near Portsmouth, in April 1810. Robertson's lyrics were never collected, but his song 'The Toom Meal Pock,' written during a dearth in 1800, has merit, and is in all adequate collections of Scottish poetry.

[Brown's Paisley Poets; Rogers's Modern Scottish Minstrel.]

T. B.