Born: Sep­tem­ber 18, 1746, Whitehill, Cairnie, Aberdeenshire, Scot­land.

Died: June 12, 1798, Canisbay, Caithness, Scot­land.


It is mortifying to think that not even a common slab indicates the spot where reposes the dust of one of the best po­ets of the Church of Scot­land.

James T. Calder
Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the 10th Century, 2nd edition (Wick: W. Rae, 1887)

In the Church of Scot­land in Cairnie, Aberdeenshire, a plaque reads:

Sac­red to the Memory of
Poet and Divine.
Born at Whitehill, Cairney, 18th Sept. 1746
Ordained Minister of the Parish of Canisbay,
26th Sept. 1780; Died there, 12th June 1798.
To him the Church of Scot­land owes
Seven of the finest of her
Paraphrases: —
In Gratitude for which this Tablet
Was erected by the Church Guilds of
His native parish and other friends.
“His power increasing still shall spread.
His reign no end shall know;
Justice shall guard his throne above,
And peace abound below.” - Par. XIX.6.

Morison grad­u­at­ed from King’s Coll­ege, Aberdeen, before several teaching jobs in Caithness. He then stu­died Greek at Ed­in­burgh. He was or­dained in 1780, and was soon involved at the Assembly in revising Transla­tions and Paraphrases. He al­so wrote po­ems that ap­peared in the Ed­in­burgh Weekly.



  1. Come, Let Us to the Lord Our God
  2. Race That Long in Darkness Pined, The
  3. To Us a Child of Hope Is Born
  4. ’Twas on that Night When Doomed to Know