Gray, James (DNB00)

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GRAY, JAMES (d. 1830), poet and linguist, was originally master of the high school of Dumfries, and there became intimate with Burns. From 1801 till 1822 he was master in the high school of Edinburgh (Edinburgh Almanack, 1802, p. 106). In 1822 he became rector of the academy at Belfast. He subsequently took holy orders in the English church, and in 1826 went out to India as chaplain in the East India Company's service at Bombay (East India Register, 1826, 2nd ed., p. 289). He was eventually stationed at Bhuj in Cutch, and was entrusted by the British government with the education of the young Rao of that province, being, it is said, the first Christian who was ever honoured with such an appointment in the east. Gray died at Bhuj on 25 March 1830 (ib. 1831, 2nd ed., p. 104; Gent. Mag. 1831, pt. i., p. 378.) He married Mary Phillips of Longbridgemoor, Annandale, eldest sister of the wife of James Hogg [q. v.] His family mostly settled in India. He published anonymously ‘Cona; or the Vale of Clwyd. And other poems,’ 12mo, London, 1814 (2nd ed., with author's name, 1816); and edited the ‘Poems’ of Robert Fergusson, with a life of the poet and remarks on his genius and writings, 12mo, Edinburgh, 1821. He left in manuscript a poem on ‘India.’ Another poem, entitled ‘A Sabbath among the Mountains,’ is attributed to him. His Cutchee version of the gospel of St. Matthew was printed at Bombay in 1834. Hogg introduced Gray into the ‘Queen's Wake’ as the fifteenth bard who sang the ballad of ‘King Edward's Dream.’

[Anderson's Scottish Nation, ii. 374–5.]

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