Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cunningham Allan

Cunningham, Allan, poet and author, was born at Keir, Dumfriesshire, in 1784. He is best known as a close imitator of the poet Burns, in whose neighbourhood he lived at Dalwinston. Commencing life as a stonemason, he soon devoted himself to literary work. He became a friend of Hogg, the "Ettrick shepherd," and later of Sir Walter Scott. In 1810 a volume appeared by Cromek, a London publisher, called Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, purporting to be a collection of stray writings of Burns, but which in reality almost entirely emanated from the brain of Cunningham. At the solicitation of Cromek he now came to London, where he married, and earned a living by miscellaneous literary work and employment given by the sculptors Bubb and Chantrey, and formed the acquaintance of the leading literary men of the day, including Carlyle, Southey, Wilson, and Lockhart. He died in 1842. His chief claim to literary fame lies in some spirited poems - The Mermaid of Galloway, A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea, It's Hame and it's Hame, and local tales relating to his district, as well as a work entitled Lives of the Most Famous British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.