Macpherson, James (1738-96), born in Inverness-shire, published Remains of Ancient Poetry translated from Gaelic or Erse. Being commissioned to collect more materials of the kind, he composed two volumes of prose poems, which he asserted to be translations of Gaelic poems by Ossian, son of Fingal, a bard who flourished about A.D. 300. These poems raised a hot controversy. and were much admired even by those who detected the imposture. They were based on bardic ballads and traditions. He became agent to the Nabob of Arcot, and sat in the House of Commons 1780 to 1790.