The son of a dyer, Gavin Turnbull was born in Ayreshire; he had at least some schooling before being apprenticed to a carpet weaver in Kilmarnock. Living in poverty, he exchanged verses with Robert Burns, David Sillar, and Alexander Wilson. Turnbull moved to Glasgow, joined a company of actors, married an actress, and met Burns again in 1793 when on tour in Dumfries. He published two volumes of poetry before emigrating to America. In October 1800 he advertised a subscription for a volume of Poems in the South-Carolina State-Gazette.
1788Ode to Melancholy.
1788Silvanus. A Fragment.
1788The Bard, a Poem; in the Manner of Spencer. Inscribed to Mr. R***** B*****.
1796Pastoral Elegy, on the Death of Mr. Robert Fergusson.
1807Ode to Suspicion.
Poetical essays. 1788.
Poems, by Gavin Turnbull, Comedian. 1794.