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Gordon, William (1770-1820) (DNB00)


GORDON, WILLIAM (1770–1820), Gaelic poet, was born 20 Nov. 1770 at Creech in Sutherlandshire. When over twenty years of age he entered the army, serving in the Reay fencibles till their disbandment in 1802; he wrote his poems while his regiment was stationed in Ireland. On leaving the army Gordon returned home and married. The latter years of his life were spent as a teacher in a Gaelic school. He died in 1820. Gordon's poems, consisting of hymns and songs in Gaelic, were published in 1802 under the title, 'Dantadh Spioradal le Uilliam Gordon Saighidfhear ann an Reighiseamaid Gaidhealach Mhic-Aoi. Clodh-bhuailt air son U. G. le Deorsa Conolie, Leabharreiceadar Gaileadh.' Some of his hymns were reprinted in John Munro's collection ('Dana Spioradail ann an da Earrann,' Glasgow, 1819). Gordon also wrote an elegy on his brother Peter and a love-song, which were printed in a volume of poems by his brother, George Ross Gordon (see below). At his death he left a work in manuscript called 'Gleanings in the Field of Truth.' George Ross Gordon (fl. 1832), like his brother, entered the army and served in the 42nd regiment in Ireland. He was afterwards teacher of a Gaelic school at Morness in Sutherlandshire, and was living in 1832. His poems, also in Gaelic, were published while he was in Ireland in 1804-5. Besides his own poems, and the two by William Gordon referred to above, the volume includes two pieces by another brother, Alexander Gordon, who was a mason at Tain in Ross-shire. G. R. Gordon and A. Gordon both wrote other pieces, which do not seem to have been published.

[J. Reid's Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica, pp. 164-166.]

C. L. K.