William Shaw

Biography of William Shaw

William Shaw (1749-1831), born at Clachaig in the Isle of Arran, graduated MA from the University of Glasgow 1777.

After he graduated he went to London and met Dr. Johnson who approved of his aim to compile a collection of Gaelic words.

In 1778 William Shaw traveled the Highlands of Scotland and the Hebrides before journeying across Ireland to collect the vocabulary of the Gaelic language. He collected nearly thirty thousand articles for the first ever Gaelic/ English Dictionary and the names of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson are recorded amongst the list of subscribers.

William Shaw was the Minister of Ardlach, Nairn, from 1779-80 and received a BD from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1800.

Shaw became the Rector of Chelvey, Somerset from 1795 until his death in 1831.


William Shaw
Born 3 February 1749.
Died 16 September 1831.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: MA, 1777;
Occupation categories: lexicographers
Record last updated: 2nd Oct 2013

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