The epic poem


is one of the most celebrated and popular works in the range of Scottish literature; yet its author is as obscure as the poem is renowned. The Treasurer's Accounts for the years 1490-92 record five payments made to “Blind Hary”: these entries constitute the only recorded allusions to him, of any kind, during his lifetime. William Dunbar mentions him in his

Lament for the Makaris

, proving that he was dead by the date of the poem (most probably 1505) and perhaps somewhat earlier, since the dramatist Patrick Johnston, whose name appears in the same stanza, died in 1495. John Mair in his

History of Greater Britain

(1518) refers to a book of William Wallace written by


, who according to Mair was blind from birth and earned his living by telling stories for…

2537 words

Citation: McClure, J. Derrick. "Blind Hary". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 June 2007 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

11799 Blind Hary 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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