Summary: For a
much more in depth account see Hugh Douglas' AANHS
The Rev. Roderick Lawson.(1831-1907) was born in Girvan,
where his father was a ropespinner. He received his early education
under the Rev. Cathcart Kay in the old Parish School. His first post was
that of assistant to the Rev. John M'Leod, at that time minister of the
parish of Newton-on-Ayr, but later of Govan Parish. In 1864 he was
ordained minister of the West Parish Church, Maybole, in which a
memorial tablet records that he laboured for 34 years and was " a
man imbued with the enthusiasm of usefulness who preached the love of
He was a great lover of the romantic land in which he was born, and
in books such as"-Places of Interest about Girvan,'' " Ailsa
Craig," and " The Covenanters of Ayrshire," he has given
much information about the many interesting places in Carrick, the tales
of grim and tragic deeds being mingled with humorous comments and
anecdotes in a lighter vein.
He not only wrote a number of poems and songs chiefly on local
subjects, but was also a diligent collector of the ballads and songs of
his native district, which he published under the title of "
Ballads and Songs of Carrick." Firmly believing that ballads and
songs are written to be sung rather than to be read, he got his musical
friends to write melodies and accompaniments for all the pieces in his
collection not already provided with them.