Bald, Alexander (DNB00)

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BALD, ALEXANDER (1783–1859), poetical writer, was born at Alloa, 9 June 1783. His father was for a long time engaged in superintending coal works in the neighbourhood, and was the author of the 'Corn Dealer's Assistant,' for many years an indispensable book for tenant-farmers in Scotland. A brother, Robert, attained some eminence as an engineer. Alexander was from an early age trained for commerce, and for more than fifty years conducted business at Alloa as a timber-merchant and brick-manufacturer. Throughout his life he devoted much of his leisure to literature, and was the friend and patron of many literary men in Scotland. He was among the first to acknowledge the merits of the poems of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, and paid him a visit many years before he had obtained general recognition as a poet. He established a Shakespeare Association in his native town, and at its annual celebrations secured the presence of eminent men of letters. To the 'Scots Magazine,' at the beginning of this century, Bald was a regular poetical contributor; but his poems show a very thin vein of poetical sentiment. One of them, 'The Lily of the Vale,' has been erroneously attributed to Allan Ramsay. Bald died at the age of 76, at Alloa, in 1859.

[Rogers's Century of Scottish Life, p. 237; Rogers's Modern Scottish Minstrelsy, v. 34.]

S. L. L.