1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hamilton of Bangour

Thomas Campbell, in Specimens of the British Poets (1819; 1845) 426.



WILLIAM HAMILTON of Bangour, was of an ancient family in Ayrshire. He was liberally educated, and his genius and delicate constitution seemed to mark him out for pacific pursuits alone; but he thought fit to join the standard of rebellion in 1745, celebrated the momentary blaze of its success in an ode on the battle of Gladsmuir, and finally escaped to France, after much wandering and many hardships in the Highlands. He made his peace however with the government, and came home to take possession of his paternal estate; but the state of his health requiring a warmer climate, he returned to the Continent, where he continued to reside till a slow consumption carried him off at Lyons, in his 50th year. The praise of elegance is all that can be given to his verses. In case any reader should be immoderately touched with sympathy for his love sufferings, it is proper to inform him, that Hamilton was thought by the fair ones of his day to be a very inconstant swain. A Scotch lady, to whom he teased with his addresses, applied to Home, the author of Douglas, for advice how to get rid of him. Home advised her to affect to favour his assiduities. She did so, and they were immediately withdrawn.