John Baird (Scottish divine)

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John Baird (17 February 1799 – 29 November 1861), was a Scottish divine.


Baird was the eldest son of the Rev. James Baird, who was successively minister of Legertwood, Eccles, and Swinton, all in Berwickshire, was born at Eccles, and educated at the Whitsome and Kelso grammar schools. Later he proceeded to the University of Edinburgh, where, in 1823, he founded the Plinian Society for the study of natural history, and was its first president.[1]

Going to Ireland in 1825, he was for some time engaged by the Irish Evangelical Society as one of their preachers. In 1829, he was ordained minister of Yetholm, Roxburghshire, where he died. A colony of gipsies, who were little better than heathens, had long been settled at Kirk Yetholm, and Baird set himself resolutely to reclaim these people, and to make them Christians and useful members of society. The work was done in connection with a society formed in Edinburgh for the 'Reformation of the Gipsies in Scotland,' and it met with a considerable amount of success. Baird wrote the 'Scottish Gipsies' Advocate,' Edinburgh, 1839, and contributed an 'Account of the Parish of Yetholm' to the 'New Statistical Account of Scotland.' A memoir of him, by W. Baird (London, 1862), contains a list of words used by the gipsies of Yetholm, compared with Grellman's list of the continental gipsy language, and the corresponding words in Hindustani.[1]



 Cooper, Thompson (1885). "Baird, John (1799-1861)". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 2. London: Smith, Elder & Co.