Outram, George (DNB00)

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OUTRAM, GEORGE (1805–1856), journalist, was second son of Joseph Outram (1771–1830), brother of Benjamin Outram [q. v.], by Elizabeth, daughter of George Knox, Craigleith. He was born on 25 March 1805 at the Clyde ironworks, near Glasgow, of which his father was manager, and was educated at the high school of Leith, whither his family removed in his boyhood. He studied at the university of Edinburgh, and in 1827 was admitted a member of the Scottish bar. Not being successful as an advocate, he readily accepted, in May 1837, the editorship of the 'Glasgow Herald' in succession to Samuel Hunter, and soon acquired a share as proprietor. The chief feature of his editorship was the reversal of the anti-corn-law policy of the 'Herald.' He continued his journalistic work till his death, on 15 Sept. 1856, at Rosemore on the Holy Loch. He was buried in Warriston cemetery, Edinburgh. Outram was an enthusiastic angler and a prominent member of the Edinburgh Angling Club. In 1837 he married Frances McRobbie from Jamaica, and had by her four sons and one daughter, of whom the last survivor died in 1887.

Outram's reputation rests on the 'Lyrics, Legal and Miscellaneous,' first printed privately, and afterwards edited in 1874 by Sheriff Bell, who prefaced it with a biographical sketch. A new edition, with additions and notes, by Dr. J. H. Stoddart, editor of the 'Glasgow Herald,' appeared in 1888. The majority of his verses were written to be sung at festive gatherings in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The interest in his work is chiefly local, partly because he wrote nearly all in the Scots dialect, partly because the topics were connected with the legal society of the Scottish capital; but in a few instances, notably in the 'Annuity,' the rich humour and happy expression appeal to a wider circle. Outram collaborated with 'Christopher North' in the 'Dies Boreales,' which followed the 'Noctes Ambrosianæ.' He also printed for private circulation a collection of legal anecdotes.

[Editions of the 'Lyrics' referred to above; Songs of the Edinburgh Angling Club; biographical notes kindly supplied by Aleaxander Sinclair, esq., of the 'Glasgow Herald,' and J. D. Outram, esq., advocate, Edinburgh.]

G. G. S.