Couper, Robert (DNB00)

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COUPER, ROBERT, M.D. (1750–1818), Scottish poet, son of a farmer at Balsier, parish of Sorbie, Wigtonshire, was born 22 Sept. 1750. He entered the university of Glasgow in 1769 with the view of studying for the ministry of the church of Scotland, but, his parents having died before he had completed his studies, he accepted the office of tutor in a family in Virginia, America. On the outbreak of the American revolution in 1776 he returned to Scotland, and after studying medicine at the university of Glasgow began practice at Newton Stewart, Wigtonshire. In 1788 he settled in Fochabers, Banffshire, as physician to the Duke of Gordon. In 1804 he published at Inverary, in two volumes, ‘Poetry chiefly in the Scottish Language,’ dedicated to the Duke of Gordon, the first volume mainly consisting of poems on the seasons, and the second of odes and songs. Among the best known of his songs are ‘Red gleams the Sun,’ tune ‘Neil Gow,’ inserted in his own works under the title ‘Kinrara;’ and ‘The Ewebughts, Marion.’ He left Fochabers in 1806, and died at Wigton, 18 Jan. 1818.

[Stenhouse's Notes to Johnson's Musical Museum, ed. Laing; Charles Rogers's Modern Scottish Minstrel, 15–16.]

T. F. H.