Nathaniel McKie

Nathaniel McKie

Born ca. 1715
Died 1781

Alias: 

Nathaniel M'Kie

Biography: 

Son of William M'Kie. Ordained minister of Crossmichael and/or Balmaghie on August 23rd, 1739. According to Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae McKie "was noted for simplicity of character, plain uncultivated manners, superstitious credulity, and great eccentricity." Author of Some thoughts on the Sacred Ministry, the opposition it meets with, its triumph, and the spring of its victory, a sermon (1741). Allegedly also "author of a quaint and humorous old Scottish song, 'Nae Dominies for me, Laddie'".1

McKie is described by Boswell as "a strange Caliban of a clergyman",2 and "a great curler upon the ice [and] at the same time a great admirer of poetry [who] imagining that he has genius, is now and then bellowing out some uncouth clumsy ditty of his own composition." (Harvest, 170962) M'Kie was a distant relation of Lord Kenmure's, the lord's aunt having married a McGhie of Balmaghie.

  • 1. According to Norman J. M'Kie, M.D. in "The M'Ghies of Balmaghie", published in The Gallovidian, No. 26, vol. VII in 1906
  • 2. In his Harvest Journal, entry September 16, 1762)

Life with Boswell: 

Boswell probably met him at Lord Kenmure's on 16/9-62, but his journal isn't entirely clear as to whether he merely referred something told to him by Lord Kenmure, or formed the description himself.