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June 17th 1773

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'Dumbie' Cruikshank

From the Perth Magazine:
“On the 17th of last month died here James Cruikshank, glover known as Dumbie Cruikshank.” 

“He was born in Perth about 1719 and was soon discovered to be both deaf and dumb. When he arrived at that age at which boys are put to school, he also went to school to Mr Robert Wilson, a writing master in Perth, who by indefatigable assiduity brought him both to read and write. That he understood what he read was abundantly evident; for in reading a newspaper he would point his finger to the place in a map, where the thing he was reading about happened, and would make intelligible signs expressing the action related. He would also turn up different places of the Bible where mention is made of the deaf and dumb; but I could never learn from him if he understood the great subject revealed in the scriptures.” 

“In the year 1745, when the rebel army had command of the town, he was one of those who took up arms against them on the late King’s birthday and consequently was obliged to fly to Stirling Castle, then under the control of General Balcony. The General was very fond of him and during his stay there he presented to the General a plan of the Castle drawn by himself, though I believe he was never taught drawing. He, for the most part of his latter days served as a drawer in taverns. He was certainly the best mimic I ever saw and could take off any posture or attitude of the body that was singular or remarkable.” 

“He also had a prodigious memory.” 

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