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Poet’s untold story on sale in Montrose

John Molloy, Barry Graham and Danny McMullen outside Henry Hoggs where George Beattie: A Poet Lost in Time is on sale.

John Molloy, Barry Graham and Danny McMullen outside Henry Hoggs where George Beattie: A Poet Lost in Time is on sale.

The untold story of a St Cyrus poet is being exclusively sold in hard copy in Montrose.

In September of last year Barry Graham, from Arbroath, and John Molloy, from Glasgow, launched a book about the life of poet George Beattie to coincide with the 190th anniversary of the writer’s death by pistol at a St Cyrus churchyard.

The book, ‘George Beattie: A Poet Lost in Time’, which was only available online, has now been printed and is being sold exclusively in Montrose at Henry Hogg booksellers, on the High Street.

Barry and John researched, updated and corrected the biography of Beattie.

Barry said: “It is an injustice that Beattie’s story was suppressed and we wanted to get it out there and now it is.”

“This is a non-profit project. All the money is going to charity and will be spilt between Debra and Save The Children,” said John.

George Beattie was born at Whitehill, near St Cyrus, in 1786 to William Beattie and Elizabeth Scott.

He went to a parish school in St Cyrus and when he was about 13, Beattie and his family moved to Montrose.

He went to Edinburgh to study law, returning to Montrose as a writer or attorney.

In 1815, he contributed a satirical poem to the Review called ‘John o’ Arnha’, which was about a town officer, John Findlay, who boasted about extraordinary imagined places he had visited. The poem bared a resemblance to Robert Burns’ ‘Tam o’ Shanter’.

Beattie met a young girl, oddly named William Gibson, in 1821, and soon the two were engaged.

Miss Gibson, however, called off the engagement after receiving a small fortune from a wealthy uncle.

She then became engaged to a wealthy corn merchant.

Inconsolable, Beattie shot himself with a pistol beside his sister Mary’s grave in a St Cyrus churchyard when he was only 38.

 

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