James Grahame - Encyclopedia

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JAMES GRAHAME (1765-1811), Scottish poet, was born in Glasgow on the 22nd of April 1765, the son of a successful lawyer. After completing his literary course at Glasgow univer sity, Grahame went in 1784 to Edinburgh, where he qualified as writer to the signet, and subsequently for the Scottish bar, of which he was elected a member in 1795. But his preferences had always been for the Church, and when he was forty-four he took Anglican orders, and became a curate first at Shipton, Gloucestershire, and then at Sedgefield, Durham. His works include a dramatic poem, Mary Queen of Scots (1801), The Sabbath (1804), British Georgics (1804), The Birds of Scotland (1806), and Poems on the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1810). His principal work, The Sabbath, a sacred and descriptive poem in blank verse, is characterized by devotional feeling and by happy delineation of Scottish scenery. In the notes to his poems he expresses enlightened views on popular education, the criminal law and other public questions. He was emphatically a friend of humanity - a philanthropist as well as a poet. He died in Glasgow on the 14th of September 1811.

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