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The Scottish Nation

LANDSBOROUGH, DAVID, D.D., a poet and naturalist, was born in 1782, in the parish of Dalry, in the north-east verge of Kirkcudbrightshire, celebrated, with the contiguous mountain districts, as the scene of not a few eventful occurrences in the history of the persecuted Covenanters. This, too, was the district of the Gordons, knights of Lochinvar, afterwards viscounts of Kenmure. He was educated, first, at the parish school, and subsequently at Dumfries academy, and studied at the university of Edinburgh for the ministry of the Established Church of Scotland. While a student, he was for some time a tutor in the family of Sir William Miller, a lord of session, under the title of Lord Glenlee. This gentleman, whose seat of Barskimming is in Ayrshire, while his estate of Glenlee, from which he took his title, is in Galloway, exerted his influence on his behalf, and, on being licensed to preach the gospel, Mr. Landsborough became assistant in the Old Church of Ayr. He was soon, however, presented to the parish of Stevenston, in the same county, and was ordained in 1811.

Being one of what was called ‘the evangelical’ party in the church, at the disruption in 1843, he relinquished his charge, and became minister of a congregation at Saltcoats in connection with the Free church.

Much of his time, when not occupied in the duties of the ministry, was devoted to the study of natural history, in the different departments of botany and conchology. In the latter years of his life the algae, or seaweeds, of the coasts of Ayrshire and Arran especially engaged his attention. He published several works which, at the time of their appearance, attracted some attention. His first work was entitled ‘Arran, a Poem in 6 Cantos,’ Edinburgh, 1847, 16mo. In 1852 appeared from his pen, ‘Excursions to Arran, Ailsa Craig, and the two Cumbraes, with reference to the natural history of these islands,’ Edinburgh, 8vo. He also, the same year, published a ‘Popular History of British Zoophytes and Coralline,’ London, 8vo. He was, likewise, the author of a ‘Popular History of British Seaweeds;’ also, of a little volume of religious biography, entitled ‘Ayrshire Sketches,’ To Dr. Harvey’s ‘Phycologica Britannica’ he contributed various papers, and that gentleman marked his sense of their merits by naming an algae after him. Dr. Johnston, author of ‘The History of British Zoophytes,’ in like manner gave his name to a zoophyte, and a shell also bears the name of Landsburii.

He had the degree of doctor in divinity from an American university. He died, suddenly, of cholera, in September 1854.

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