David Macbeth Moir

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D.M. Moir,
engraving by W. Roffe

David Macbeth Moir (5 January 1798 – 6 July 1851) was a Scottish physician and writer.


Moir was born at Musselburgh and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, taking his degree in 1816. Entering into partnership with a Musselburgh doctor he practised there until his death. He was a contributor of both prose and verse to the magazines, and particularly, with the signature of Delta, to Blackwood's Magazine. His life is featured in the book, The “Blackwood” Group by Sir George Douglas, Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1897.[1]

A collection of his poetry was edited in 1852 by Thomas Aird. Among his publications were the famous Life of Mansie Wauch, Tailor (1828), which shows his gifts as a humorist, Outlines of the Ancient History of Medicine (1831), and Sketch of the Poetical Literature of the Past Half Century (1851).[1]

He is one of several writers who are claimed as the author of the "Canadian Boat-Song".[2]

He is commemorated by a memorial statue, which was erected in Musselburgh in 1853.[3] There are also several street names in the town which make reference to him, and a branch of the pub chain Wetherspoons opened in February 2012 is named The David Macbeth Moir.


His daughter Annie Marie Moir married Rev William Milligan and their children included the church historian Oswald Milligan[4] and Very Rev George Milligan.[5]


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