James Hogg

(The Ettrick Shepherd)

1770 - 1835

Author, songwriter and poet. Born at Ettrick Hall in the Scottish Borders, Hogg was almost entirely self-educated. He remained loyal to his farming roots throughout his life, preferring his family and his Borders farm to the Edinburgh literati. Hogg became a close friend of another literary son of the Borders, Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832). Following unsuccessful farming ventures at Ettrick and in Dumfriesshire, Hogg moved to Edinburgh in 1810, but returned to Yarrow in 1815, having been given the free rent of a farm by Charles Montagu Douglas Scott, the 4th Duke of Buccleuch (1772 - 1819).

His literary works brought him recognition and critical acclaim, in Edinburgh, London and beyond. His most famous book is the powerful The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824). Hogg was also a collector and writer of folk tunes and an accomplished fiddle player.

During a trip to London in 1832, he was offered a knighthood by King George IV, but refused this honour.

Hogg is buried in the kirkyard at Ettrick and is remembered by a statue at St. Mary's Loch, close to where he was born. There is a museum dedicated to his life in Aikwood Tower, near Selkirk.

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