Lowe, John

(1750-1798)
   Son of a gardener, born at Kenmure, East Galloway, South Scotland, he started life as a weaver. With help he went to Edinburgh University in 1771 to prepare for the church, although there is no evidence that he was ever licensed as a preacher in Scotland. He was tutor to the family of a Mr. M'Ghie of Airds on the Dee, East Galloway, and formed a romantic attachment with one of the daughters. In 1773 he went to the United States as tutor to the family of George Washington's elder brother, then opened a school at Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he took holy orders and obtained a living as a clergyman of the Church of England. Distance and time no doubt put a strain on the romantic relationship back in Scotland, and Lowe married a Virginia lady. The marriage was unhappy and Lowe took to drink. He was buried near Fredericksburg under the shade of two palm trees. His fame rests entirely on the ballad "Mary's Dream," inspired by the tragic death of a gentleman named Sandy Miller, a surgeon at sea who was attached to the other M'Ghie sister.
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Biography of John Lowe. Significant and Famous Scots (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/lowe_john.htm). Biography of John Lowe, Virtual American Biographies (http://www.famousamericans.net/johnlowe).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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