1835 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Pringle

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine NS 3 (March 1835) 326-27.



Dec. 5. In London, aged 46, Thomas Pringle, esq. late Secretary to the Anti-Slavery Association, and author of several interesting works.

Mr. Pringle was born in Tiviotdale, a romantic pastoral district in the South of Scotland, of which he has left some pleasing remembrances, in the poetry which from time to time he gave to the public. He applied himself early in life to literature, as a profession; and was concerned in the establishment and early management of Blackwood's Magazine; shortly after, however, he chose to follow the fortunes of his family, who became settlers in South Africa. There, after a time, Mr. Pringle entered into some literary speculations in Cape Town, which, however, he was speedily forced to relinquish by the government, at a pecuniary loss of little less than 1000. Upon the failure of these speculations, Mr. Pringle returned to England; and his services were soon after engaged by the Anti-Slavery Society, as Secretary to that body, a situation which he continued to hold until within these few months, when the object of the Society was accomplished; and the duties of which responsible office he discharged, not merely as one expected to labour for hire, but as one whose heart was in the cause of humanity and justice.

Mr. Pringle is also favourably known to the public as a sweet and graceful poet. His "Ephemerides" abound in graphic pictures of African scenery; and are rich in evidences of the kind and Christian spirit which accompanied the writer, in all that he did or wrote. As the Editor of "Friendship's Offering," Mr. Pringle brought to his task a sound judgment and a refined taste. The last work in which he was engaged, and which he finished only a month or two ago, was the revision of his volume entitled "African Sketches," with a view to a second edition, which, we believe, will soon appear. Early last summer, the rupture of a blood-vessel confined Mr. Pringle to a sick bed, and greatly reduced the energies of a naturally strong constitution; and towards the autumn, it became apparent, that, for the preservation of life, a removal to a warmer climate was indispensable. Mr. Pringle's circumstances not permitting a trial of the south of Europe, he again turned his thoughts towards the Cape: the necessary preparations were hastily completed; the passage money paid; and it wanted but three days of the time appointed for sailing, when a diarrhoea began to show itself, under which the powers of nature, already enfeebled by confinement, speedily sank, and he died without a struggle; exhibiting to the end that moral courage for which he had ever been remarkable, and supported by the recollection of a well-spent life, and by the hopes that spring from religion. Few men were richer in friends than Mr. Pringle; among their number we might enumerate most of the literary men of the day. and very many of those public men, who have made philanthropy the beacon of their political career. (Atheneaum.)