Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Adamson, Henry

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ADAMSON, HENRY (d. 1639), poetical writer, a native of Perth, was the son of James Adamson, who had been dean of guild in 1600, and provost in 1610 and 1611. He was the author of ‘The Muses Threnodie or Mirthfull Mourning on the Death of Master Gall. Containing varietie of pleasant poeticall descriptions, morall instructions, historical narrations and divine observations, with the most remarkable antiquities of Scotland, especially at Perth’ (Edinburgh, 1638, 4to). The multifarious contents of the book bear out the promise of the elaborate title. Preceding the elegy is a whimsical description, in rhymed octosyllabic verses, of the curiosities (which the owner used to fancifully call his ‘gabions’) in Mr. Geo. Ruthven's closet. The elegy itself gives a long account of the antiquities of Perth and the neighbourhood; Ruthven and Gall are introduced as speakers, and the ‘gabions’ are made to bear a part. It was chiefly owing to the encouragement and advice of William Drummond, of Hawthornden, that this curious poem was published. In the year after its publication the author died prematurely. He had been trained for the pulpit. A very elaborate edition of the ‘Muses Threnodie’ was issued (in two volumes) in 1774 by a Scotch antiquary, James Cant.

[Cant's preface to the Muses Threnodie, 1774.]

A. H. B.