Person NameJervise; Andrew (1820-1878); Printer and antiquarian, Brechin
EpithetPrinter and antiquarian, Brechin
ActivityAndrew Jervise was born on 20 July 1820 in Airlie Street, Brechin. After leaving school at 12 he became an apprentice compositor with Black the printer in Brechin. He lived in Blackbull Close with his mother and his aunt. It was through his aunt that he first developed a love of folklore, legends and fairy tales. He got to know the poet Alexander Laing (1787 - 1857) and was allowed to borrow from his library. In 1837 he went to Edinburgh but he found the life there very hard. Jervise had started to write poetry and songs. Laing introduced him to many of his literary friends, and Brechin artist Colvin Smith (1795 - 1987) encouraged him in art. He attended the Art School in Edinburgh while still working and writing poetry in his spare time. In 1846 he returned to Brechin where he held art classes and gave public lectures. He could not make enough money to support himself and he returned to the printing business. He began to write antiquarian material and gradually his house in Blackbull Close became the centre of a literary circle that included Patrick Chalmers of Auldbar (1802 - 1854).His first book, 'The Land of the Lindsays', was published in 1853 and was an outstanding success. This led to him becoming a Corresponding Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Lord Panmure (Fox Maule, 11th Earl of Dalhousie (1801 - 1874)) claimed that Jervise had persuaded him to restore the ruins of Edzell Castle and, on his recommendation as Secretary of War, Jervise was offered the post of 'Examiner of Registers' from 1856. Jervise produced a great many books, contributed many articles to the local newspaper, submitted papers to the Society of Antiquaries and contributed material to the earliest Ordnance Survey concerning the sites of castles, boundaries, etc. He died on 12 April 1878 after a short illness.
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