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The Country Rhymes of Samuel Thomson

Samuel Thomson, unlike contemporary folk poets who were weavers by trade, was a schoolmaster by profession. Although he lived as somewhat of a recluse in his thatched cottage on Lyles Hill, Thomson had a wide circle of correspondents, including James Orr of Ballycarry, one of the most celebrated of the weaver poets, the Rev James Porter of Greyabbey, hanged in 1798 on suspicion of being a United Irishman, and Lord Templeton. He also exchanged poems with Burns and visited him in Ayrshire. His work fist saw publication in 1793. The selection, written in the Ulster dialect of Lallans, not only reflects Thomson’s wit and humour, but provides an invaluable insight into the daily life of his time.


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