Allan Ramsay

1686 - 1758

Allan Ramsay
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Allan Ramsay

Poet and bookseller. Born in Leadhills (South Lanarkshire), the son of a mine supervisor, Ramsay was educated at Crawford Parish School and apprenticed to an Edinburgh wig-maker in 1701. He began writing poetry around 1712 and was soon drawn into publishing. He was established as a book-seller on Edinburgh's High Street by 1718 and is credited for having promoted Scottish literature and bringing about a revival of Scottish poetry. Ramsay's best known work is The Gentle Shepherd. He also founded the first travelling library in the UK.

Ramsay is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh.

His eldest child was the painter Allan Ramsay (1713-84).

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