Cleland, William

Cleland, William
(1661-1689)
   Cleland was known as "the troubadour of the Covenanters." At just eighteen, having spent three years at St. Andrews University, he was a captain in the covenanting army and later lieutenant-colonel of the Cameronian regiment raised by the earl of Angus. He was present at the 1679 battles of Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge, between the Covenanters and the troops of John Graham of Claverhouse (later Viscount Dundee), the arch persecutor of the Covenanters. At the battle of Dunkeld in 1689, between the Cameronians and the government troops, Cleland died a heroic death by a Highland bullet in the liver and another in the head within an hour of the first assault. He was the author of A Collection of Several Poems and Verses Composed Upon Various Occasions, which appeared posthumously in 1697. Two of the poems: "A Mock Poem," "An Acrostic Upon His Name," "An Answer to a Letter, from a Soldier Comrade, While in the Camp," "Hello, My Fancy," "How Mean a Thing is it to Stay," "O'er Hills, O'er Mountains, Scrogie Woods," "The Highland Host" (a satirical attack on the Highland troops and their leaders).
   Sources: Come Hither. Walter de la Mare, ed. Knopf, 1957; Dover Publications, 1995. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition, 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Significant and Famous Scots (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/cleland_william.htm). The Battle of Dunkeld (http://www.clan-cameron.org/battles/1689_b.html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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