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The Scottish Nation

CREECH, a surname supposed to be derived from land. there are two parishes of the name, one in Fife and one in Sutherland, but spelled Criech or Creich. The name may perhaps be a corruption of cariche, stony, from car, a stone or rock, and iche, a Gothic termination signifying abundance, as Peniche, a local name in Portugal and Spain, signifying full of pinnated rocks. Carriches is a town in Spain. Iche is the same as the modern termination ish. When the rocks are large, the augmentative ac or accas is used, as Caracas, (the district of large rocks) a province of Venezuela in South America, Caraca, a mountain of Brazil, and La Carraca, a rocky island in Spain, near Cadiz, which gave name to the caraccas, or heavy ships of burden, of which it was the station.

CREECH, WILLIAM, an eminent publisher and bookseller, son of the Rev. William Creech, minister of Newbattle, and of Mary Buley, an English lady, was born April 21, 1745. After receiving his education at the school of Dalkeith, he was sent to the university of Edinburgh, with a view to the medical profession. But preferring to be a bookseller, he was bound apprentice to Mr. Kincaid, subsequently lord provost of Edinburgh. In 1766 he went to London for improvement, and afterwards spent some time in Holland and Paris, returning to Edinburgh in 1768. In 1770 he accompanied Lord Kilmaurs, son of the earl of Glencairn, in a tour to the continent. On his return in 1771, he entered into partnership with his former master, Mr. Kincaid, who in 1773 withdrew from the firm, and the whole devolving on Mr. Creech, he conducted the business for forty-four years with singular enterprise and success. For a long period the shop occupied by him, situated in the centre of the High Street, was the resort of most of the clergy and professors, and other public men and eminent authors in the Scottish metropolis; and his breakfast-room was a sort of literary lounge, which was known by the name of “Creech’s Levee.”

            Mr. Creech filled the office of lord provost of Edinburgh from 1811 to 1813, and was elected a fellow of the royal society of Scotland. He carried on a considerable correspondence with many eminent literary men both in Scotland and England; and on him Burns wrote his well-known poem of ‘Willie’s awa’,’ on occasion of his having gone to London for some time in May 1787. Mr. Creech died unmarried, January 14, 1815, in the 70th year of his age. During one period of his life he was fond of contributing essays and sketches of character and manners to the Edinburgh newspapers. These he collected into a volume, and published under the name of ‘Fugitive Pieces’ in 1791. They were republished after his death, with some additions, a short account of his life, and a portrait.

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