ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Blacklock

(1721-1791)


The son of a bricklayer, Thomas Blacklock was blinded by smallpox when six months old; he began writing poetry at the age of twelve and attracted the attention of friends who supported his education at Edinburgh High School (1741). Joseph Spence took a particular interest in him and edited an English edition of his poems. Blacklock was ordained in 1762 but after being rejected by his parish operated a boarding school in Edinburgh (1764). He was patronized by David Hume and exchanged verses with James Beattie; he leant early support to Robert Burns and introduced Walter Scott to the works of Spenser.

TEXT RECORDS:

1746A Pastoral Song.
1746A Pastoral, inscrib'd to Euanthe.
1746An Hymn to Divine Love. In imitation of Spenser.
1752 ca.Philanthes: a Monody.
1754An Irregular Ode, sent to a Lady on her Marriage Day.
1760Song. Inscribed to a Friend. In imitation of Shenstone.
1774Absence: a Song. In the Manner of Shenstone.

PUBLICATIONS:

Poems on several occasions. Glasgow 1746.
Philanthes: a monody. 1752?
Advice to the ladies: a satyr. 1754.
Poems on several occasions. Edinburgh 1754.
An essay on universal etymology or the analysis of a sentence. 1756.
Poems by Mr. Thomas Blacklock, ed. Joseph Spence. 1756.
A select collection of the Psalms ... as imitated or paraphrased by ... Mr Blacklock. 1756.
A collection of original poems by the Rev. Mr. Blacklock and other Scotch gentlemen. 1760.
Paraclesis: or consolations deduced from natural and revealed religion. 1767.
A poem occasioned by the death of Lady Cunynghame of Livingstone. 1772.
Panegyric on Great Britain: a poem. 1773.
The Graham: an heroic ballad, in four cantos. 1774.
Remarks on the nature and extent of liberty. 1776.
Two sermons. 1776.
"A discourse on national music," Scots Magazine (October 1779).
Poems, ed. Henry Mackenzie. 1793.
"A letter from Thomas Blacklock to the author respecting Burns," in Elizabeth Scot, Alonzo and Cora. 1801.
Unpublished topical poem [Pistapolis] by Dr. Blacklock, ed. Frank Miller. 1907.
Dr. Blacklock's manuscripts, ed. Frank Miller. 1913.