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William Fisher (1737-1809) - Farmer

Farmer in Mauchline, Ayrshire, and an elder of the Church. He was the model for Holy Willie in the poem Holy Willie's Prayer by Robert Burns. The incident that fired the poem took place in 1785 when Fisher instigated the Church Session of Mauchline to prosecute Burns's friend Gavin Hamilton for Sabbath-breaking. Although Burns, in his head-note to the poem, described Holy Willie as a bachelor, Fisher was married. In 1790 Fisher was arraigned for drunkenness before the minister WIlliam Auld. He died in a snowdrift in February 1809.

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