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William Nicholson (1782-1849) - Poet

He was born on 15th August 1782 in Dumfries, Scotland. His bad eyesight and poor health prevented him from taking up any strenuous work, and so be became a travelling packman. He became known as Wandering Wull and was a well liked visitor to the rural areas, where he would sing songs of his own composition, usually to older folk melodies. In later life, drink took its toll of his already weakened health and he died in poverty on 16th May 1849. His work was published by his friend John McDiarmid in the Dumfries and Galloway Courier and enjoyed a wide currency during Nicholson's lifetime. His humorous ballad Aiken Drum is still a popular anthology piece and in his long poem The Brownie of Bludnock Nicholson showed a sensitive regard for the cadences of rural dialects.

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