Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 05.djvu/437

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

on Waterloo, by Alexander Boswell, Anchinl., printed by A. and J. Boswell, 1815, 8vo; ‘Sheldon Haughs, or the Sow is flitted,' 1816, 8vo, a quaint rendering of an Ayrshire tradition; and ‘The Woo’-creel, or the Bull o’ Allan Ramsay,‘ 1816, a poem after the manner of Allan Ramsay. This year he contributed some lyrics to Campbell's ‘Albyn's Anthology,' Edin. fol. We hear of him continually in the papers of this time. At the animal festival of the Harveian Society of Edinburgh he sang one of his topical songs on the Institution, its founder and members, ‘Song ... Harveian Anniversary,’ Edin. 1816, 8vo. The Society elected him poet laureate, as is shown by a poem published after his death. ‘An Elegiac Ode to the memory of Mr. Harvey ... by Sir Alex. Howell. Poeta Laureatus, Sod. Fil, Æculapii,' in ‘Andrew Duncan's Tribute to Raeburn,' Edin. 1824, 8vo. The works issuing under his editorship from his private press were interesting additions to literature. About 1816 appeared ‘Dialogus pius et festivus inter Deum (ut ferant) et Evam,' then 'Dialogus inter Solomon et Marcolphum,' and afterwards the Roxburghe work the 1598 edition of ‘Poems by Richard Barnfie1d.' 1816, 4to, the gift of his brother James. The series of rare reprints for which the press is chiefly noted is that of several old poems issued at intervals in, 4to, separate and unpaged, each with ‘Finis,’ but afterwards grouped in volumes (annumbered) under the title of ‘Frondes Caducæ,' of which a complete set is very sauce. We give abbreviated titles of the works issued :-- 1 [Vol. i.] 1816, with engraving of the printing-office ‘A Remembrance of Sir Nicholas Bacon . . (by) George Whetstones.' ‘A Remembrance of Judge Sir James Dier ... (by) George Wintston’ ‘ A Remembrance of ... Lord Thomas, late Earle of Sussex,' 1583. [Vol. ii.] 1816. ‘Sir Phillip Sidney, his honourable life ... by G. W[hetstones].' ‘The Mirror of Man, and the Manners of Men . . by Thomas Churchyard.' 1594. ‘A Pleasant Discourse of Court and Wars, by Thomas Churchyard,‘ 1594. ‘A Sad and Solemn Funerall . . . Francis Knowles, Knt., by Thomas Churchyard,’ 1596. The latter is called ‘Churchyard's Cherrishing.' [Vol. iii.] 1817 (with a neat engraving of Linnburn Bridge, by Grace Boswell) ‘A Fig for Momus by T. L[odge],' 1595. [vol. iv.] 1817, ‘A Musicall Consort, called Churchyard’s Charitie,' 1595. ‘ A Praise of Poetrie,' 1595. [vol. v.] 1818, ‘The Scottish Souldier, by [George] Lawder,‘ 1629. [Vol. vi.] 1818, ‘Ane Tractat of a part of ye Yngliss Cronikle . . . from Asloan's Manuscript.’ [Vol vii. and last] 1818, ‘The Buke of the Chess from a manuscript early in the 16th cent. by Jhois Sloane.' In 1817 Boswell contributed twelve songs to George Thomson's ‘Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs,’ London, fol., of which ‘Good night, and joy be wi’ ye a’,’ ‘Jenny's Bawbee,’ and ‘Jenny dang the Weaver’ are still favourites. In 1819 he succeeded the Rev. James William Dodd ns a member of the Roxburghe Club, a well-deserved acknowledgment of his bibliographical reputation.

To Boswell’s enthusiasm Scotland is indebted for the monument erected on the banks of the Doon to Robert Burns. With a friend he advertised a meeting at Ayr on a certain day to consider proposals for honouring the memory of the poet. No one came but themselves; they were not dannted, however, a chairman was elected, resolutions were carried nem. con., thanks to the chair voted, and the meeting separated. The resolutions printed and circulated brought in a public subscription of 2,000l, and he laid the foundation-stone of the memorial on Burns's birthday, 25 Jan. 1820. He was an active magistrate and deputy lieutenant of Argyleshire, and lieutenant-colonel of the Ayrshire cavalry. In 1818 and 1820 he was elected member for Plympton, in Devonshire, and entered on his duties on strict conservative principles, but accepted the Chiltern Hundrerds in 1821. His song ‘Long live George the Fourth,' written, composed, and sung by him at Ayr, on the celebration of his majesty's anniversary, 19 July 1821, was afterwards published, Edin. 1821, fol. In August 1821 he was created a baronet. He married a daughter of David Montgomery, of Lanishaw, a relative of his mother, by whom he had several children. In society he was a general favourite. Croker describes him as a high spirited, clever, and amiable gentleman, of frank and social disposition. Lockheart says that among those who appeared at the ‘dinners without the silver dishes (as Scott called them) was Boswell of Auchinleck, who laid all his father Bozzy's cleverness, good humour, and joviality, withont one touch of his meaner qualities.'

The ‘Beacon ’ (not the ‘Warder,' as Allibone, Dibdin, and others say) had been started as a tory paper at this time, Scott oontributed without any share in directing it. He withdrew on account of its excesses, and after a short existence, Jan, to Aug. 1821, the committee ordered its extinction. It contained bitter pasqninades agaisnt James Stuart of Dunearn (of the house of Moray), a writer to the Signet. Another paper, the ‘Glasgow Sentinal,' a continuation of the ‘Clydesdale Journal,' took the place of the ‘Beacon,' and