The son of a gardener, Andrew MacDonald was educated at Leith Grammar School and Edinburgh University; he worked as a tutor and became an Episcopal clergyman in Glasgow (1777). He published Ossianic poetry and a novel; reportedly disliked by his parishioners for his libertine ways, he left the clergy and moved to Edinburgh and then to London where he enjoyed brief success as a playwright and satirical writer before sinking into poverty and an early death. In 1788 he was an editor at The Star, the first London evening newspaper, and in 1790 he contributed poems to The Morning Post using the pseudonym "Matthew Bramble."
1782 ca.Minvela. — A Fragment. Imitated from the Gaelick.
1782Velina: a Poetical Fragment.
1789[On Spenser and Johnson.]
1790New Probationary Odes for the Laureatship. Number IX. By James Beattie.
1790Odes to Actors XII.
Velina, a poetical fragment. 1782.
The independent. A novel. 1784.
Vimonda: a tragedy. 1788.
Miscellaneous works. 1791.
Ode on the Scottish music, and verses on the Power of harmony. 1796.