William Motherwell, editor of Scottish ballads, was born at Glasgow in 1793, the son of an ironmonger. He was raised by an uncle in Paisley, studied law and was sheriff-clerk depute of Renfrewshire (1819-29). A formidable antiquary, Motherwell espoused conservative principles as editor of the Paisley Advertiser (1828-30) — which he took over from his friend William Kennedy — and the Glasgow Courier (1832-35).
The harp of Renfrewshire: a collection of songs and other poetical pieces [ed. Motherwell]. 1820.
Renfrewshire characters and scenery: a poem in three hundred and sixty-five cantos, by Isaac Brown [Motherwell]. 1824.
Minstrelsy ancient and modern [ed. Motherwell]. 1827.
Certain curious poems written at the close of the XVIIth and the beginning of the XVIIIth century [ed. Motherwell]. 1828.
Poems narrative and lyrical. 1832.
Scottish proverbs [introduction by Motherwell]. 1832.
Works of Burns [ed. Hogg and Motherwell]. 5 vols, 1834-36.
The Laird of Logn, etc. [by Motherwell, et. al.] 1841.
Poetical works. 1843.
Posthumous poems. 1851.