1746-1798
portrait

September 18, 1746, Whitehill, Cairnie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

June 12, 1798, Canisbay, Caithness, Scotland.

It is mortifying to think that not even a common slab indicates the spot where reposes the dust of one of the best poets of the Church of Scotland.

James T. Calder
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the 10th Century, 2nd edition (Wick: W. Rae, 1887)

In the Church of Scotland in Cairnie, Aberdeenshire, a plaque reads:

Sacred to the Memory of
THE REV. JOHN MORRISON D.D.
Poet and Divine.
Born at Whitehill, Cairney, 18th Sept. 1746
Ordained Minister of the Parish of Canisbay,
26th Sept. 1780; Died there, 12th June 1798.
To him the Church of Scotland owes
Seven of the finest of her
Paraphrases: —
XIX,XXI,XXVII,XXVIII,XXIX,XXX,&XXV.
In Gratitude for which this Tablet
Was erected by the Church Guilds of
His native parish and other friends.
His power increasing still shall spread.
His reign no end shall know;
Justice shall guard his throne above,
And peace abound below.
- Par. XIX.6.

Morison graduated from King’s College, Aberdeen, before several teaching jobs in Caithness. He then studied Greek at Edinburgh. He was ordained in 1780, and was soon involved at the Assembly in revising Translations and Paraphrases. He also wrote poems that appeared in the Edinburgh Weekly.

  1. Come, Let Us to the Lord Our God
  2. Race That Long in Darkness Pined, The
  3. To Us a Child of Hope Is Born
  4. ’Twas on That Night When Doomed to Know