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John McDiarmid (1790-1852) - Journalist

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of the minister of the Gaelic Church. His early life was spent as a clerk in the Commercial Bank in Edinburgh, but by 1817 his growing interest in publishing led him to join Charles Maclaren and William Ritchie shortly after they had founded The Scotsman newspaper. Later that year he moved to Dumfries where he established the Dumfries and Galloway Courier. A friend of many of the leading writers of his day, McDiarmid acted as a legal adviser to Jean Armour, the widow of Robert Burns. Politically on the left, he was one of the first campaigning journalists in Scotland to see the use that could be made of the press in public affairs. He edited a collection of poems by William Cowper and wrote on the topography of Dumfries and Galloway.

Works; An Enquiry into the Principles of Civil and Military Subordination (1806); ed., Poetical Works of William Cowper (1818); The Scrap Book (1821); Sketches from Nature (1830); Picture of Dumfries (1832).

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