Blind Harry - Biography

Biography

Little is known about Blind Harry's life. One source is the Lord High Treasurer's accounts of 1473-1492, which recorded payments to him for performances at the court of James IV. Blind Harry was given gifts of money by the King at New Year, as were other minor courtiers, but a payment on 2 January 1492 seems to relate to the singing of a ballad accompanied by two Gaelic harpers 'Ersche clareschaw,' mentioned in adjacent entries. This is the last mention of Harry in the accounts.

He is mentioned by William Dunbar on line 69 of his Lament for the Makeris early in the 16th century. Historian John Major also wrote about Harry in 1518. These sources differed on whether or not he was blind from birth, but Harry almost certainly seems to have had a military background.

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