Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Homely Words and Songs for Working Men and Women" - Rev Charles Marshall (1795–1882)

Marshall was Scottish, but this volume was published in both Edinburgh (by Constable & Co) and Belfast (by Shepherd & Aitchison) in late 1856. It was favourably reviewed in the Presbyterian newspaper The Banner of Ulster, who described the poems and songs as ‘an excellent little series’, with ‘each article preceded by a song chiefly in the Scotch dialect, in which we often meet with verses of which Burns need not have been ashamed’.

He was born in Paisley in 1795 and it is said that Robert Tannahill was a friend of the family’s. In 1856 Marshall was a Free Church of Scotland minister in Dunfermline; in 1853 he had published ‘Lays and Lectures for Scotia’s Daughters of Industry’, some of which also appeared in ‘Homely Words’. He died in 1882 and was buried at Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh.

Some of his poems are available online here in the Modern Scottish Minstrel (1857)

PS - what this also leads to is the need for someone to catalogue all of what might be called ‘Scottish Scots’ language books which were also printed in Belfast and Ulster generally.