1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montgomery, Robert

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17576811911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18 — Montgomery, Robert

MONTGOMERY, ROBERT (1807–1855), English poet, natural son of Robert Gomery, was born at Bath in 1807. He was educated at a private school in Bath, and founded an unsuccessful weekly paper in that city. In 1828 he published The Omnipresence of the Deity, which hit popular religious sentiment so exactly that it ran through eight editions in as many months. In 1830 followed The Puffiad (a satire), and Satan. An exhaustive review in Blackwood by John Wilson, followed in the thirty-first number by a burlesque of Satan, and two articles in the first volume of Fraser, ridiculed Montgomery’s pretensions and the excesses of his admirers. But his name was immortalized by Macaulay’s famous onslaught in the Edinburgh Review for April 1830. As a poet, he deserved every word of Macaulay’s severe censure, though the brutality of the attack cannot be defended. This exposure did not, however, diminish the sale of his poems; The Omnipresence of the Deity reached its 28th edition in 1858. In 1830 Montgomery entered Lincoln College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1833 and M.A. in 1838. Taking holy orders in 1835 he obtained a curacy at Whittington, Shropshire, which he exchanged in 1836 for the charge of the church of St Jude, Glasgow. In 1843 he removed to the parish of St Pancras, London, when he was minister of Percy Chapel. He died at Brighton in 1855. He also wrote The Messiah (1832), Woman, the Angel of Life (1833), Oxford (1831), and many devotional and theological works.