James Paterson
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Ayrshireheritage.jpg (30073 bytes)Excerpt from the book Ayrshire Heritage by Andrew M. Boyle. Alloway Publishing, Ayr.
JAMES PATERSON (1805-1876) Born at Struthers Farm, between Kilmarnock and Hulfford. After brief spells at schools in Hurlford, Maybole, Kilmaurs, Kilmamock and in Ireland, this son of an unsuccessful farmer began work as a stable boy at 11. At 14, he started an apprenticeship as a printer and worked at the trade in Kilmamock and Ayr. In 1831, he published and edited the Kilmarnock Chronicle, the town's first newspaper. Later in the same decade, he edited the Kilmanock Journal and Ayr Observer newspapers. He taught himself historical research, and wrote several valuable and learned books on history, including Origins of the Scots and the Scottish language. His main contribution was his History of the County of Ayr, published first in 2 volumes (1847-52), in 5 volumes (1863-66) and with addenda in 1871; it is an incredible literary achievement for a man who had the minimum of formal education, and is still the most comprehensive and important work on the county's history.