1963 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Scott

Robert R. Rea, in The English Press in Politics 1760-74 (1963) 100.



About 1764, Scott became intimate with Sandwich, Halifax, and other members of Grenville's ministry, and under their patronage he wrote the series of letters signed "Anti-Sejanus," which appeared in the Public Advertiser. Scott possessed more than moderate ability, and Anti-Sejanus was one of the most popular writers of short articles between Wilkes and Junius. He hewed to the party line, attacked "the favorite" as well as the Rockingham Whigs, and maintained a high regard for George Grenville. It has been said that Scott's letters were so popular that the sale of the Public Advertiser was increased from 1,500 to 3,000 daily. Scott's Anti-Sejanus letters drew replies from "An Occasional Writer" for the Rockingham ministry in 1765, and John Almon believed that Edmund Burke, among others, wrote several replies to Scott. Grenville's use of "every coffee-house and every news-paper" to sway opinion enabled Scott to retire in 1771, unbowed and undefeated.