Concept

Alexander Murray (linguist)

Summary
Alexander Murray FRSE FSA (Scot) (1775 – 15 April 1813) was a Scottish minister, philologist, linguist and professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at Edinburgh University (1812). Life Murray was born on 22 October 1775, at Dunkitterick, Kirkcudbrightshire, where his father, Robert Murray, was a shepherd and farm labourer. His first language was Galwegian Gaelic. Up until 1792, he had had little more than a year at school, but was self-taught in languages, and had worked as a tutor as well as a shepherd. He translated Arnold Drackenburg's German lectures on Roman authors, and when he visited Dumfries with his version in 1794, after unsuccessfully offering it to two separate publishers, he met Robert Burns, who gave him advice. The father of Robert Heron lent Murray books, and James M'Harg, a literary pedlar from Edinburgh, proposed that Murray should visit the university authorities. His parish minister, J. G. Maitland of Minnigaff, gave him an introductory letter to P
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