Posts Tagged ‘Dugald Stewart’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Henry Raeburn
4 March 1756 – 8 July 1823


Sir Henry Raeburn

Sir Henry Raeburn was born the son of a manufacturer in Stockbridge, on the Water of Leith; a former village now within the city of Edinburgh. His ancestors were believed to have been soldiers, and may have taken the name ‘Raeburn’ from a hill farm in Annandale, held by Sir Walter Scott’s family. Orphaned, he was supported by his older brother and placed in Heriot’s Hospital, where he received an education. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to the goldsmith James Gilliland of Edinburgh, and various pieces of jewellery, mourning rings and the like, adorned with minute drawings on ivory by his hand, still exist. Soon he took to the production of carefully finished portrait miniatures; meeting with success and patronage, he extended his practice to oil painting, at which he was self-taught. Gilliland watched the progress of his pupil with interest, and introduced him to David Martin, who had been the favourite assistant of Allan Ramsay the Latter, and was now the leading portrait painter in Edinburgh. Raeburn was especially aided by the loan of portraits to copy. Soon he had gained sufficient skill to make him decide to devote himself exclusively to painting. George Chalmers (1776; Dunfermline Town Hall) is his earliest known portrait.

In his early twenties, Raeburn was asked to paint the portrait of a young lady he had noticed when he was sketching from nature in the fields. Anne was the daughter of Peter Edgar of Bridgelands, and widow of Count James Leslie of Deanhaugh. Fascinated by the handsome and intellectual young artist, she became his wife within a month, bringing him an ample fortune. The acquisition of wealth did not affect his enthusiasm or his industry, but spurred him on to acquire a thorough knowledge of his craft. It was usual for artists to visit Italy, and Raeburn set off with his wife. In London he was kindly received by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the president of the Royal Academy, who advised him on what to study in Rome, especially recommending the works of Michelangelo, and gave Raeburn letters of introduction for Italy. In Rome he met his fellow Scot Gavin Hamilton, Pompeo Girolamo Batoni and Byers, an antique dealer whose advice proved particularly useful, especially the recommendation that “he should never copy an object from memory, but, from the principal figure to the minutest accessory, have it placed before him.” After two years of study in Italy he returned to Edinburgh in 1787, and began a successful career as a portrait painter. In that year he executed a seated portrait of the second Lord President Dundas.

Examples of his earlier portraiture include a bust of Mrs Johnstone of Baldovie and a three-quarter-length of Dr James Hutton, works which, if somewhat timid and tentative in handling and not as confident as his later work, nevertheless have delicacy and character. The portraits of John Clerk, Lord Eldin, and of Principal Hill of St Andrews belong to a later period. Raeburn was fortunate in the time in which he practised portraiture. Sir Walter Scott, Hugh Blair, Henry Mackenzie, Lord Woodhouselee, William Robertson, John Home, Robert Fergusson, and Dugald Stewart were resident in Edinburgh, and were all painted by Raeburn. Mature works include his own portrait and that of the Rev. Sir Henry Moncrieff Wellwood, the bust of Dr Wardrop of Torbane Hill, the two full-lengths of Adam Rolland of Gask, the remarkable paintings of Lord Newton and Dr Alexander Adam in the National Gallery of Scotland, and that of William Macdonald of St Martin’s.

Apart from himself, Raeburn painted only two artists, one of whom was Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, the most important and famous British sculptor of the first half of the nineteenth century. It has recently been revealed that Raeburn and Chantrey were close friends and that Raeburn took exceptional care over the execution of his portrait of the sculptor, one of the painter’s mature bust-length masterpieces.

It was commonly believed that Raeburn was less successful in painting female portraits, but the exquisite full-length of his wife, the smaller likeness of Mrs R. Scott Moncrieff in the National Gallery of Scotland, and that of Mrs Robert Bell, and others, argue against this. Raeburn spent his life in Edinburgh, rarely visiting London, and then only for brief periods, thus preserving his individuality. Although he, personally, may have lost advantages resulting from closer association with the leaders of English art, and from contact with a wider public, Scottish art gained much from his disinclination to leave his native land. He became the acknowledged chief of the school which was growing up in Scotland during the earlier years of the 19th century, and his example and influence at a critical period were of major importance. So varied were his other interests that sitters used to say of him, “You would never take him for a painter till he seizes the brush and palette.”

In 1812 he was elected president of the Society of Artists in Edinburgh, in 1814 associate, and in the following year full member of the Royal Scottish Academy. On 29 August 1822 he was knighted by George IVand appointed His Majesty’s limner for Scotland at the Earl of Hopetoun house. He died in Edinburgh.

Raeburn had all the essential qualities of a popular and successful portrait painter. He was able to produce a telling and forcible likeness; his work is distinguished by powerful characterisation, stark realism, dramatic and unusual lighting effects, and swift and broad handling of the most resolute sort. David Wilkie recorded that, while travelling in Spain and studying the works of Diego Velázquez, the brushwork reminded him constantly of the “square touch” of Raeburn. Scottish physician and writer John Brown wrote that Raeburn “never fails in giving a likeness at once vivid, unmistakable and pleasing. He paints the truth, and he paints it with love”.

Raeburn has been described as a “famously intuitive” portrait painter. He was unusual amongst many of his contemporaries, such as Reynolds, in the extent of his philosophy of painting directly from life; he made no preliminary sketches. This attitude partly explains the often coarse modelling and clashing colour combinations he employed, in contrast to the more refined style of Thomas Gainsborough and Reynolds. However these qualities and those mentioned above anticipate many of the later developments in painting of the nineteenth century from romanticism to Impressionism.

Sir Henry Raeburn died in St Bernard’s House (17 St Bernards Crescent), Stockbridge, Edinburgh. He is buried in St. Cuthbert’s churchyard against the east wall (the monument erected by Raeburn in advance) but also has a secondary memorial in the Church of St John the Evangelist, Edinburgh.

Raeburn made more than a thousand paintings spanning fifty years.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir William James Charles Maria Drummond of Logiealmond
1770 – 1828


William James Charles Maria Drummond

Sir William Drummond of Logiealmond was born in Perthshire the son of John Drummond of Perth. He was educated at Oxford University.

In 1798 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposers being Dugald Stewart, Alexander Keith and John Playfair. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London the following year.

He lived in London from 1809 and died in Rome in Italy on 29 March 1828.

In 1795 he was MP for St. Mawes, and in the elections of 1796 and 1801 was returned for Lostwithiel. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1799 These were both rotten boroughs in Cornwall. He became sworn as a Privy Counsellor in 1801, and left Parliament as a diplomat, as Envoy to the court of Naples. In 1803 he became British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Appointed by the Levant Company on 14 January 1803, he arrived at the Dardanelles the following May. He was there for less than a year and then he returned to England in 1804. From 1806 to 1809 he served as Envoy to the Court of Naples for a second time.
He was knighted in 1813 or 1814.

The title of Drummond’s book refers to the later Platonic Academy, which was, in fact, not so much Platonist as Sceptical in orientation, based on the work of Pyrrho the Sceptic and later followers of Pyrrho such as Carneades. Academical Questions is a work in the Sceptic tradition, in this case influenced by the Sceptical Scottish philosopher David Hume.

According to C. E. Pulos’s 1954 book The Deep Truth: A Study of Shelley’s Scepticism, Drummond uses Sceptical Humean ideas in an attempt to refute the British philosophy predominant in his day, the Common Sense ideas of Thomas Reid and his followers. These had been enunciated first in Reid’s An Enquiry into the Human Mind (1765).

Drummond failed to unseat Reid’s ideas in popularity; they remained dominant in English philosophy for the first half of the 19th century.

In contrast to other scholars he names, Pulos argues that Shelley was decisively influenced by Academical Questions, and under its influence confidently abandoned 18th-century French materialism. According to Pulos, Drummond altered the poet Shelley’s beliefs. He ceased being an 18th-century French materialist; Shelley asserted that some passions (of the heart) are “innate.”

His Oedipus Judaicus references the Oedipus Aegyptiacus of Athanasius Kircher, and was printed for private circulation. It was reprinted in 1866, having proved highly controversial (introduction to 1986 reprint by James P. Carley). It interprets passages from the Book of Genesis (in particular the Chedorlaomer story), and the Book of Joshua, in allegorical fashion, with a detailed argument based on astrology.

  • A Review of the Government of Sparta and Athens (1794)
  • Academical Questions (1805)
  • Herculanensia (1810) with Robert Walpole
  • Oedipus Judaicus (1811, privately circulated and reprinted in 1866)
  • Odin (1818), poem
  • Origines, or Remarks on the Origin of several Empires, States, and Cities (1824–29)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir William Hamilton 9th Baronet
8 March 1788 – 6 May 1856


William Hamilton

Hamilton was born in Glasgow. He was from an academic family, including Robert Hamilton, the economist. His father, Dr William Hamilton, had in 1781, on the strong recommendation of William Hunter, been appointed to succeed his own father, Dr Thomas Hamilton, as Regius Professor of Anatomy, Glasgow; and gained a great reputation.

William Hamilton and a younger brother, Thomas Hamilton, were brought up by their mother. William received his early education in Scotland, except for two years which he spent in a private school near London, and in 1807 went as a Snell Exhibitioner, to Balliol College, Oxford. He obtained a first class in lit ens humanioribus and took his B.A. in 1811, M.A. 1814.

He had been intended for the medical profession, but soon after leaving Oxford he gave up this idea, and in 1813 became a member of the Scottish bar. His life continued to be that of a student; years filled by researches of all kinds. Investigation enabled him to make good his claim to represent the ancient family of Hamilton of Preston, and in 1816 he took up the baronetcy, which had been in abeyance since 1701.

Two visits to Germany in 1817 and 1820 led to William’s taking up the study of German and later on that of contemporary German philosophy. In 1820 he was a candidate for the chair of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, which had fallen vacant on the death of Thomas Brown, but was defeated on political grounds by John Wilson.

In 1821 he was appointed professor of civil history, and as such delivered several courses of lectures on the history of modern Europe and the history of literature. The salary was £100 a year, derived from a local beer tax, and was discontinued after a time. No pupils were compelled to attend, the class dwindled, and Hamilton gave it up when the salary ceased. In January 1827 his mother died. In 1828 he married his cousin, Janet Marshall.

In 1829 his career of authorship began with the appearance of the well-known essay on the “Philosophy of the Unconditioned”-the first of a series of articles contributed by him to the Edinburgh Review. He was elected in 1836 to the Edinburgh chair of logic and metaphysics, and from this time dates the influence which, during the next twenty years, he exerted over the thought of the younger generation in Scotland.

About the same time he began the preparation of an annotated edition of Thomas Reid’s works however, he was struck 1844 with paralysis of the right side, which seriously crippled his bodily powers, though it left his mind wholly unimpaired.

The edition of Reid appeared in 1846, but with only seven of the intended dissertations, one unfinished. He had formed his theory of logic, the leading principles of which were indicated in the prospectus of “an essay on a new analytic of logical forms” prefixed to his edition of Reid. The elaboration of the scheme in its details and applications continued during the next few years to occupy much of his leisure. The results of the labour gone through are contained in the appendices to his Lectures on Logic.

In 1852–1853 appeared the first and second editions of his Discussions in Philosophy, Literature and Education, a reprint, with large additions, of his contributions to the Edinburgh Review. Soon after, his general health began to fail. Assisted by his devoted wife, he persevered in literary labour; and during 1854–1855 he brought out nine volumes of a new edition of Stewart’s works. The only remaining volume was to have contained a memoir of Stewart, but this he did not live to write. He taught his class for the last time in the winter of 1855–1856. Shortly after the close of the session he was taken ill, and died in Edinburgh.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Dr William Pulteney Alison
12 November 1790 – 22 September 1859


Dr William Pulteney Alison

A Scottish physician, social reformer and philanthropist. He was a distinguished professor of medicine at Edinburgh University. He served as president of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh (1833), president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1836–8), and vice-president of the British Medical Association, convening its meeting in Edinburgh in 1858.

Alison was the eldest son of the Rev Archibald Alison and Dorothea Gregory; the elder brother of the advocate Archibald Alison; and godson of Laura Pulteney, 1st Countess of Bath. In his youth he climbed Mont Blanc and other mountains as a pastime and in 1811 he graduated as a physician from Edinburgh University. He studied under his father’s friend Dugald Stewart, and for a time he was expected to follow a career in philosophy rather than medicine.

His uncle was Professor James Gregory and his cousin was Professor William Gregory.

Struck by the poverty he encountered Alison advocated poor relief in Scotland be extended from the sick and infirm to include the healthy impoverished. This was a radical suggestion as the ethos of the age was for poor relief to be withheld from the able-bodied destitute who were presumed to be indolent and sinful.

Alison proposed using the Scottish Poor Law to alleviate poverty as a means of assuaging disease, but the Poor Law Commissioners supported the position of English reformer Edwin Chadwick that disease was caused by filth and miasmas. Alison held to the contagion theory of disease, stating its spread was facilitated through poverty and overcrowding. He argued that poverty arose from social factors, not sin and sloth, and that higher wages should be paid to workers to mitigate disease by reducing the effect of overcrowding and destitution. In stating a case for fighting disease that appeared to be outside the province of contemporary medicine Alison was a pioneer of “political” medicine, as well as social epidemiology and public health.

In his 1840 publication Observations on the management of the poor in Scotland and its effect on the health in the great towns, Alison argued that the government and its agencies had a major role in the alleviation of poverty and that this undertaking should not be left to religious groups or private charities. He advocated using public taxes to assist widows, orphans and the unemployed poor, and criticised the establishment for ignoring those who were fit but impoverished. The findings of the 1844 Royal Commission on Poor Laws (Scotland) lent support to Alison’s viewpoint.

Alison promoted preventive social medicine and initiated a program to vaccinate children against smallpox, and he established Edinburgh’s Fever Board to combat epidemics. He advocated speedy diagnosis of the ill and, where found to be contagious or infectious, he recommended fumigation and ventilation of the residence and prompt hospitalisation for the patient. His methods bore fruit during the cholera epidemic of 1831–1832, whereby Edinburgh took immediate and effective action to mitigate the outbreak without awaiting instructions from London.

In strongly advocating government intervention to alleviate poverty as a means to combat disease Alison was ahead of his time but he lived to see public opinion move closer to his initiatives.

He married his first cousin Margaret Craufurd/Crawford Gregory (1809–1849), daughter of James Gregory in 1832; the marriage was childless.

Attacks of epilepsy forced him to retire in 1856, and he died at Colinton on 22 September, 1859. He was interred at St John’s Episcopal Cemetery in Edinburgh.

He wrote – Outlines of physiology (1831)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sidney Smith (wit)
3 June 1771 – 22 February 1845


Sydney Smith

Born in Woodford, Essex, England, Smith was the son of merchant Robert Smith (1739–1827) and Maria Olier (1750–1801), who suffered from epilepsy. His father, described as “a man of restless ingenuity and activity”, “very clever, odd by nature, but still more odd by design”, owned at various times, 19 different estates in England.

Smith himself attributed much of his own lively personality to his French blood, his maternal grandfather having been a French Protestant refugee named Olier. He was the second of four brothers and one sister, all remarkable for their talents. Two of the brothers, Robert Percy (known as “Bobus”) and Cecil, were sent to Eton, but he was sent with the youngest to Winchester College, where he rose to be captain of the school. He and his brother so distinguished themselves that their school-fellows signed a round-robin “refusing to try for the college prizes if the Smiths were allowed to contend for them any more”.

In 1789, Smith became a scholar of New College, Oxford; he received a fellowship after two years’ residence, took his degree in 1792 and obtained his Master of Arts degree in 1796. He planned to read for the bar, but his father disagreed and he was reluctantly compelled to take holy orders. He was ordained at Oxford in 1796 and became curate of the village of Netheravon, near Amesbury in Salisbury Plain. Smith did much for the inhabitants; providing the means for the rudiments of education and thus making better things possible. The squire of the parish, Michael Hicks-Beach, invited the new curate to dine and thrilled to find such a man there engaged him as tutor to his eldest son. It was arranged that they should go to the University of Weimar in Germany, but war prevented them and “in stress of politics” said Smith, “we put into Edinburgh” in 1798. While his pupil attended lectures, Smith studied moral philosophy under Dugald Stewart as well as medicine and chemistry. He also preached in the Episcopal chapel, attracting large audiences.

In 1800, Smith published his first book, Six Sermons, preached in Charlotte Street Chapel, Edinburgh, and in the same year, married, against the wishes of her friends, Catharine Amelia Pybus. They settled at 46 George Street, Edinburgh, where Smith made numerous friends, among them the future Edinburgh Reviewers. Towards the end of his five years’ residence in Edinburgh, in a house in Buccleuch Place, the elevated residence of the then Mr Jeffrey, Smith proposed the setting up of a review. “I was appointed editor,” he says in the preface to the collection of his contributions, “and remained long enough in Edinburgh to edit the first number (October 1802) of the Edinburgh Review. The motto I proposed for the Review was Tenui musam meditamur avena.—’We cultivate literature on a little oatmeal.’ But this was too near the truth to be admitted, and so we took our present grave motto✱ from Publius Syrus, of whom, none of us, I am sure, had ever read a single line.” He continued to write for the Review for the next quarter of a century, and his brilliant articles were a main element in its success.

Smith left Edinburgh for good in 1803, and settled in London, where he rapidly became known as a preacher, a lecturer and a society figure. His success as a preacher was such that there was often not standing-room in Berkeley Chapel, Mayfair, where he was morning preacher. He was also “alternate evening preacher” at the Foundling Hospital, and preached at the Berkeley Chapel and the Fitzroy Chapel, now St Saviour’s Church, Fitzroy Square. He lectured on moral philosophy at the Royal Institution for three seasons, from 1804 to 1806; and treated his subject with such vigour and liveliness that the London world crowded to Albemarle Street to hear him. His views were seen as radical but are now thought of as progressive and far-sighted, being in favour of the education of women, the abolition of slavery and the teaching of practical subjects rather than the classics. His lectures were original and entertaining, but he threw them in the fire when they had served their purpose—providing the money for furnishing his house. His wife rescued the charred manuscripts and published them in 1850 as Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy.

Smith’s elder brother Bobus had married Caroline Vernon, aunt of the third Lord Holland, and he was always a welcome visitor at Holland House. His Whig friends came into office for a short time in 1806, and presented Sydney with the living of Foston-le-Clay in Yorkshire. At first he employed a curate; but Spencer Perceval’s Residence Act was passed in 1808, and after trying in vain to negotiate an exchange, he left London in 1809 and moved his household to Yorkshire. The “Ministry of All the Talents” was driven out of office in 1807 in favour of a “no popery” party, and in that year Smith published the first instalment of his most famous work, Peter Plymley’s Letters, on the subject of Catholic emancipation, ridiculing the opposition of the country clergy. It was published as A Letter on the Subject of the Catholics to my brother Abraham who lives in the Country, by Peter Plymley. Nine other letters followed before the end of 1808, when they appeared in collected form. Peter Plymley’s identity was a secret, but rumours got abroad of the real authorship. Lord Holland wrote to him expressing his own opinion and Grenville’s, that there had been nothing like it since the days of Swift (Memoir, i. 151). The special and temporary nature of the topics advanced in these pamphlets has not prevented them from taking a permanent place in literature, secured for them by their vigorous, picturesque style, generous eloquence, and clearness of exposition.

In his country parish, with no educated neighbour nearby, Smith settled down to his new circumstances and won the hearts of his parishioners. There had been no resident clergyman for 150 years. He even took on temporarily the Rectory of nearby Londesborough (1823–1829) as “warming-pan” for his neighbour, William George Howard, 8th Earl of Carlisle who was training for the Church with the Rectory of Londesborough in mind.

He had a farm of 300 acres (1.2 km²) to keep in order; a dilapidated rectory had to be rebuilt. All these things were attended to beside his contributions to the Edinburgh Review. “If the chances of life ever enable me to emerge,” he wrote to Lady Holland, “I will show you I have not been wholly occupied by small and sordid pursuits”. He continued to speak in favour of Catholic emancipation, his eloquence being specially directed against those who maintained that a Roman Catholic could not be believed on his oath. “I defy Dr Duignan”, he pleaded, addressing a meeting of clergy in 1823, “in the full vigour of his incapacity, in the strongest access of that Protestant epilepsy with which he was so often convulsed, to have added a single security to the security of that oath”. One of his most vigorous and effective polemics was A Letter to the Electors upon the Catholic Question (1826).

After twenty years in Yorkshire, Smith obtained preferment from a Tory minister, Lord Lyndhurst, who presented him with a prebend in Bristol Cathedral in 1828, and enabled him to exchange Foston for the living of Combe Florey, near Taunton, which he held conjointly with the living of Halberton attached to his prebend. From this time he discontinued writing for the Edinburgh Review. It was expected that when the Whigs came into power Smith would be made a bishop. However, William Melbourne, the Whig Prime Minister at the time was against appointing him.

There was nothing in his writings to stand in the way. He had been most sedulous as a parochial clergyman. However, his religion was of a practical nature, and his fellow-clergy were suspicious of his limited theology. His scorn for enthusiasts and dread of religious emotion were vented in his bitter attacks on Methodism as well as in ridiculing the followers of Edward Pusey. One of the first things that Charles Grey said on entering Downing Street was, “Now I shall be able to do something for Sydney Smith”; but he was not able to do more than appoint him in 1831 to a residentiary canonry at St Paul’s Cathedral in exchange for the prebendal stall he held at Bristol. He was as eager a champion of parliamentary reform as he had been of Catholic emancipation, and one of his best fighting speeches was delivered at Taunton in October 1831 when be made his well-known comparison of the House of Lords with Mrs Partington of Sidmouth, setting out with mop and pattens to stem the Atlantic in a storm. With characteristic philosophy, when he saw that the promotion was doubtful, he made his position certain by resolving not to be a bishop and definitely forbidding his friends to intercede for him.

On the death of his brother Courtenay, Smith inherited £50,000, which put him out of the reach of poverty. His eldest daughter, Saba (1802–1866), married Sir Henry Holland. His eldest son, Douglas, died in 1829 at the outset of what had promised to be a brilliant career. This grief his father never forgot, but nothing could quite destroy the cheerfulness of his later life. His Three Letters to Archdeacon Singleton on the Ecclesiastical Commission (1837-38-39) and his Petition and Letters on the repudiation of debts by the state of Pennsylvania (1843) are as bright and trenchant as his best contributions to the Edinburgh Review. He died at his house in Green Street, London and was buried at Kensal Green.

Smith’s reputation among his contemporaries as a humourist and wit grew to such an extent that a number of the observations which are now attributed to him may be of doubtful provenance. Lord Houghton recorded that he never, except once, knew Smith to make a jest of any religious subject, “and then he immediately withdrew his words, and seemed ashamed that he had uttered them”. To be set against that encomium is one of Smith’s best-known lines, to the effect that his friend Henry Luttrell’s idea of heaven was eating pâté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets.

Long after his death, he is often quoted in English literary life and is remembered by homemakers in the United States through his rhyming recipe for salad dressing.

A quotation of Smith can be viewed on the wall of the main hallway in the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas in the United States. The quotation refers to Smith’s love for tea and complements the museum’s tea-set display.

Jane Austen expert Margaret C. Sullivan speculates in an essay that the character Mr. Henry Tilney, the romantic interest of the protagonist Catherine Morland in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, may have been based on Smith.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Archibald Alison
13 November 1757 – 17 May 1839


Archibald Alison

He was born at Edinburgh to Patrick Alison,the provost of the Diocese of Edinburgh, himself a younger son of an Alison of Newhall, near Coupar Angus.

After studying at the University of Glasgow, where he established his lifelong friendship with Dugald Stewart, and at Balliol College, Oxford, he took orders in the Church of England, and was appointed in 1778 to the curacy of Brancepeth, near Durham. In 1784 he married Dorothea, youngest daughter of Professor Gregory of Edinburgh.

The next twenty years of his life were spent in Shropshire, where he held in succession the livings of High Ercall, Roddington and Kenley. In 1800 he moved back to Edinburgh, having been appointed senior incumbent of St Paul’s Chapel in the Cowgate. For thirty-four years he filled this position with much ability; his sermons were characterised by quiet beauty of thought and grace of composition. His preaching attracted so many hearers that a new and larger church was built for him.

His last years were spent at Colinton near Edinburgh, where he died on 17 May, 1839. He was interred at St John’s Episcopal Churchyard in Edinburgh.

Alison published, besides a Life of Lord Woodhouselee, a volume of sermons, which passed through several editions, and a work entitled Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste (1790), based on the principle of “association”.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Dugald Stewart
November 22 1753 – June 11 1828


Dugald Stewart

The son of Matthew Stewart, he was born in Edinburgh. Educated at the Royal High School and the University of Edinburgh. He read moral philosophy under Adam Ferguson. In 1771 he went to the University of Glasgow and took classes from Thomas Reid. Here he roomed with Archibald Alison.

Dugald’s father asked him to come back to the University of Edinburgh and give lectures in Mathematics, and three years later he was made a professor. Then in 1778 he was asked to substitute for Ferguson on Morals.

In 1785 Stewart succeeded Ferguson in the Chair of Moral Philosophy and held it for 25 years. Many young men came to study under him. He spent the summer of 1788 and 1789 in France and came to sympathize with the Revolution. In 1800 and 1801 he began to lecture on Political Economy, the first ever to do so.

In 1806 he held the office of the writership of the Edinburgh Gazette. When he retired he lived at Kinneil House which the Duke of Hamilton placed at his disposal. He was made a a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1814, and he was struck with paralysis in 1822 though he mostly recovered.

His works consist of Dreaming, Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Outlines of Moral Philosophy, Life and Writings of Adam Smith, Philosophical Essays, and The Philosophy of the Active and Moral Powers.

He had many pupils including Lord Palmerston, Sir Walter Scott, Francis Jeffrey, Henry Thomas Cockburn, Francis Homer, Sydney Smith, John William War, Lord Broughman, Dr. Thomas Brown, James Mill, Sir Hames Mackintosh and Sir Archibald Alison.

In 1783 he married Helen Bannatyne who died in 1787, leaving a son, Colonel Matthew Stewart. He remarried in 1790. The sister of George Cranstoun, Helen. They had a son and daughter.

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