The material is composed of: autograph MS of hymn beginning Father and friend of humane race with signed endorsement of Ramsay's son; and, The miller and his man, or self deed self fae. A tale.
Collection of Correspondence of the Poet, Allan Ramsay (1684-1758)
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- ReferenceGB 237 Coll-532
- Dates of Creation18th century
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical Description1 notebook volume with letters fixed in; 1 manuscript Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
- LocationGen. 752; Gen. 2122/14
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Allan Ramsay was a native of Leadhills, Lanarkshire. He came to Edinburgh in 1700 to start an apprenticeship with a wigmaker. He became absorbed in literature however and became a bookseller with businesses in Niddry's Wynd and in the High Street of Edinburgh. In 1725 he established a circulating library, probably one of the earliest in Britain. In 1736 he opened a theatre in Carruber's Close but this was closed by the city's authorities. Ramsay published his first poems in 1721 and a second collection was published in 1728. Earlier, in 1725, came the drama The gentle shepherd, a pastoral comedy. In 1724 he produced an anthology of earlier Scottish verse, The ever green and between 1724 and 1737 he brought out a five volume collection of traditional Scottish songs and ballads Tea-table miscellany. Ramsay had also been interested in the decorative and visual arts and encouraged his artistic son, Allan Ramsay (1713-1784), who would become one of Britain's finest portrait artists. The elder Allan Ramsay died in 1758.
Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.
The miller ..., purchased from Sotheby catalogue, June 1964, Accession no. E64.28. Hymn, purchased from Sotheby catalogue, June 1982, Accession no. E82.64.
The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Keay, John. and Keay, Julia (eds.). Collins encyclopaedia of Scotland. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.
Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.
Other Finding Aids
Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.
Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.