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Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908) - Poet

He was born on 5th December 1824 in Aberdeen, Scotland, and was educated there at the Grammar School and at Marischal College, from which he graduated in 1841. Thereafter he studied for the ministry of the Free Church of Scotland and he was ordained in 1850. His first charge was in London but he returned to Scotland two years later and was, in succession, minister of Orwell, Kinross-shire, the Roxburgh Free Church in Edinburgh, the Free Tron Church in Glasgow and, from 1876, the Free High Church in Edinburgh. Under the pseudonym Orwell he published a collection of nature poems. The Bishop's Walk (1861), but for some reason he altered his nom de plume in 1872 to Hermann Knott. His later work was published under his own name. Most of his work is little more than light verse and the subject matter is touched by his evangelical leanings, but Smith possessed a sure ear for rhyme and metre and in his conversational poems he proved his knowledge of the cadences of Scotland's regional dialects. After retiring he lived in Dunblane where he died on the 20th of September 1908.

Works: The Bishop's Walk (1861); Olrig Grange (1872); Baldred Hall (1874); Hilda Amongst the Broken Cods (1878); Raban, or Life Splinters (1880); North Country Folk (1883); Kildrostan (1884); Thoughts and Fancies for Sunday Evening (1887); A Heretic (1890); Poetical Works (1902); Sermons (1909).

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