James Paterson

1805 - 1876

Journalist and author. Born at Struthers (East Ayrshire), the son of a farmer, Paterson became an apprentice printer with the Kilmarnock Mirror newspaper and then with the Ayr Courier. On completing his apprenticeship, he joined the Scots Times in Glasgow, but returned to Kilmarnock in 1826 starting his own business as stationer and printer. With another, he founded the short-lived Kilmarnock Chronicle in 1831. He left for Dublin in 1835, serving as a correspondent for the Glasgow Liberator. He next moved to Edinburgh to write biographies of the famous for the company begun by portraitist John Kay (1742 - 1826). He then returned to Ayr in 1839, becoming Editor of the Ayr Observer but finally he returned to Edinburgh, where he supported himself by writing. He is noted for popular historical works such as a Memoir of James Fillans, Sculptor (1854), Origin of the Scots and of the Scottish Language (1855), History of the Regality of Musselburgh (1857), The Life and Poems of William Dunbar (1860) and The History of the Counties of Ayr and Wigton (1863).

He died in Edinburgh.

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