Macdonald, Andrew (quoted by Scott, Sir Walter)


Macdonald, Andrew (quoted by Scott, Sir Walter)

1757 - 1790

Andrew Macdonald, pen name Matthew Bramble, was a Scottish clergyman, poet and playwright.

Andrew MacDonald was born on 27 February 1757,[1] the son of George Donald, a gardener. The family lived in Leith, the busy port for Edinburgh on the Firth of Forth, and Andrew Donald (as he was then) attended the Grammar School in Leith; at an early age he demonstrated a flair for music. The Donald family was Episcopalian; the non-juror Scottish Episcopal Church at this time was heavily proscribed following its support for Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Jacobite rising a few years before. Laws had been passed to prevent clergy from officiating, and punished anyone who attended services.

Another resident in Leith at this period was the Scottish Episcopalian bishop, Robert Forbes. The precocious gardener’s son impressed Bishop Forbes, who sent him to study at the University of Edinburgh with a view to ordination. Although Scottish Episcopal ordination was officially banned at the time, Bishop Forbes ordained Andrew Donald into deacon’s orders in 1775. It was at this time that the surname was changed to Macdonald (also written as M’Donald).

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