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.