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William McGonagall

AKA William Topaz McGonagall

Born: 1825
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 29-Sep-1902
Location of death: Edinburgh, Scotland
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Poet

Nationality: Scotland
Executive summary: The Tay Bridge Disaster

Reputed to be the worst poet in the English language. Still in print.

The final stanza to his most well known poem, The Tay Bridge Disaster (1879):

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

A fictionalized depiction of the poet appears in The Great McGonagall (1974).

Wife: Jean King (m. 1846)
Son: William
Daughter: Margaret
Son: Joseph
Son: Charles
Daughter: Mary King
Son: James
Son: John
Son: Thomas

    Irish Ancestry



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