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Thomas Blacklock

Blacklock, Thomas (1721–1791). Poet, born near Annan of humble parentage, lost his sight by smallpox when 6 months old. He began to write poetry at the age of 12, and studied for the Church. He was appointed Minister of Kirkcudbright, but was objected to by the parishioners on account of his blindness, and gave up the presentation on receiving an annuity. He then retired to Edinburgh, where he took pupils. He published some miscellaneous poems, which are now forgotten, and is chiefly remembered for having written a letter to Burns, which had the effect of dissuading him from going to the West Indies. He was made D.D. in 1767.

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