Montgomery, James, 1771-1854

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The poet James Montgomery was born in Irvine, Ayrshire, on 4 November 1771. He was sent to the Moravian school (the Moravians are a religious community) at Fulneck, near Leeds, and while there began writing poetry. Work followed in a bakery and then in a store, and then to the offices of the Sheffield Register . Facing prosecution, the proprietor and editor of the journal - a reformer - escaped to America, and Montgomery became the working editor and then the owner of the title which he changed to the Sheffield Iris . He too faced prosecution over his publishing content and he spent time in York Castle prison for describing a Sheffield riot in 1795. Poetry rather than journalism was his forte however and his work included The ocean (1805), The common lot (1805), The wanderer of Switzerland (1806), The West Indies (1809), The world before the flood (1812), Greenland (1819) and The pelican island (1827). James Montgomery died on 30 April 1854.

From the guide to the Papers of James Montgomery (1771-1854), 1841, (Edinburgh University Library)

James Montgomery was a journalist, poet, and activist. Raised in Ireland by Moravian parents, the young Montgomery neglected his studies to write poetry. He emigrated to England to look for a job and a publisher, and found himself working for a reform newspaper in Sheffield; when the paper's publisher fled the country to escape prosecution, Montgomery took over as editor. He became well-known for his poetry, including some book-length poems, and later in life wrote numerous popular hymns. His religious beliefs encouraged him to social activism, and he was imprisoned twice for his stands.

From the description of James Montgomery poems and note, 1827-1831. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 61356060

James Montgomery was born at Irvine in Ayrshire on November 4th, 1771. He was sent to a Moravian school at Fulneck, near Leeds at an early age, and left aged 16 to become apprenticed to a shopkeeper. An attempt to make his way in London failed, and he returned to South Yorkshire, where he was appointed assistant editor to the Sheffield Register, to which he contributed extensively. The proprietor and editor of the Register, an ardent reformer, got into political trouble and absconded to America, enabling Montgomery to take over as editor. In an effort to disarm the political hostility of the Government he changed the name of the Register to the Iris, and adopted a more moderate political line. Montgomery underwent two prosecutions for libel, instituted as a means of intimidating the Sheffield political clubs, each time being committed to York Prison. As well as making his journalistic contributions Montgomery was also a poet, The Wanderer of Switzerland of 1806 attracting public attention, and in 1809 he produced a poem on the slave trade, The West Indies, which gained great popularity. He also produced numerous hymns. Montgomery lived in Sheffield for 62 of his 83 years, and in later years was accounted a local hero.

From the guide to the James Montgomery Manuscripts, [ca. 1800]-1850, (University of Sheffield Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. James Montgomery collection, 1789-1852. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Lardner, Dionysius, 1793-1859. Letters. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn University of Connecticut, Office of Public Information. Records, 1918-2000 Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Alexander, Ann. [Commonplace book], [ca. 1840]. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Newall, Sarah. [Commonplace book], 1825. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Vol. XX (ff. 239). 7-23 Mar. 1763.includes:f. 1 Captain Hugh Bowen, 91st Foot: Letter to Col. B. Armstrong: 1763.ff. 5, 82, 101, 137, 197 Major William Dalrymple, 91 st Foot: Correspondence with Lord Loudoun: 1762-1771.ff. 7, 167 Charles Wyndha... British Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Motto for the scriptures. Allegheny College, Lawrence Lee Pelletier Library
referencedIn Robert Southey collection, 1797-1837 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Hoar, George Frisbie. 1826-1904. Autograph collection, 1598-1945 Houghton Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Autograph letter signed : the Mount near Sheffield, England, to Virgil David, Lawrenceville, Pa., 1837 June 12. Texas Christian University
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. For an American Visitor : autograph copy of the poem signed : presented to James T. Fields, 1852 Jan. 25. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn [Commonplace book], 1823-1831. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. James Montgomery poems and note, 1827-1831. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. James Montgomery letter to an unidentified correspondent [manuscript], undated. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf James Montgomery Manuscripts, [ca. 1800]-1850 University of Sheffield Lbrary
creatorOf Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834. Letter to James Montgomery [manuscript], 1809. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Letter: 1822 Mar. 21, Sheffield, to David Laing, Edinburgh / J. Montgomery. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Towers, Isabella Jane. Original essays, scraps, etc. : album, 1827-1863. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn W. T. Reid Papers, 1880-1937 Bancroft Library
referencedIn [Commonplace book], 1827. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Armsby, James H., 1809-1875,. American and English literary and historical papers collected by Atcheson L. Hench [manuscript] 1787-1914. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Atkinson, J. Poems : manuscript, 1811. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Charlton, Elizabeth. [Commonplace book], 1835-1836. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn [Commonplace book], [ca. 1824]. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Papers of James Montgomery (1771-1854), 1841 Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Lobb, William, 1804-1885. Scrapbook, [1834-1880]. Princeton University Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Pelican Island and other poems, 1827. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn John MacKay Shaw Collection, 1737-2007
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Biography of James Montgomery, undated. Library of Congress
referencedIn Amelia Opie manuscript material : 205 items, 1795-1853 The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. James Montgomery collection, 1789-1852. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Scott, Eliza. Poetic garland of flowers, 1861 and later. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. The balloon, 1814 Oct. 22. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. A message from the moon : manuscript poem, 1837 June 10. Texas Christian University
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Hymn by Montgomery, n.d. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Poetry album, c1841-c1846 Senate House Library (University of London)
referencedIn Tucker, Samuel, 1747-1833. Papers, 1774-1847 Houghton Library
referencedIn Portrait file: Guide. Houghton Library
creatorOf Hood, Thomas, 1799-1845. Thomas Hood manuscript material : 3 items, 1823-1834 New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf James Montgomery collection, 1789-1852 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Autograph File, M, 1648-1985. Houghton Library
creatorOf Letter from James Montgomery of Sheffield to James Thomas Good of Manchester; 19 Oct. 1846. Imperfect at right hand edge. Montgomery declines to speak at a meeting of 'your local Association' [the Early Closing Association] on the grounds of ill he... British Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Songs of Zion; being imitations of Psalms, [1822?]. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf James Montgomery Autograph, undated Ohio University
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. A message from the moon : manuscript poem, 1837 June 10. University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Autograph, [1827?]. Ohio University, Alden Library
creatorOf Hurd, Richard, 1720-1808. Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to [Thomas Best, later curate of Sheffield], [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Letter to [his publisher]. [s.l.]. 1833 Jan. 26. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Autograph album, 1827-1832. Yale University, Lewis Walpole Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Autograph letter signed : the Mount near Sheffield, England, to Virgil David, Lawrenceville, Pa., 1837 June 12. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Davies, Jane Jones. Jane Jones Davies commonplace book : manuscript, 1826-1835. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn James Montgomery Manuscripts, [ca. 1800]-1850 University of Sheffield Lbrary
referencedIn Reynolds, John Hamilton, 1794-1852. Letters of John Hamilton Reynolds, 1816-1821. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Letter: 1823 Mar. 15, Sheffield, to David Laing, Edinburgh / J. Montgomery. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Papers of James Montgomery (1771-1854), 1841 Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf James Montgomery manuscript material : 6 items, 1803-1838 The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. MSS. poems, by J Montgomery, written about the years 1801-1805, 1868. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Southey, Robert, 1774-1843. Robert Southey collection, 1797-1837. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn [Commonplace book], [1825 or later]. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Lardner, Dionysius, 1793-1859. Dionysius Lardner manuscript material : 3 items, 1831-1832 New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Letter: 1821 Aug. 21, Sheffield, to David Laing, Princes Street, Edinburgh / J. Montgomery. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous papers, 1922-1976. Houghton Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854. Autograph letter signed. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Southey, Robert, 1774-1843. Robert Southey collection, 1797-1837. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf McAllister, John A. (John Allister), 1822-1896,. McAllister Miscellaneous Manuscripts, 1683-1872 (inclusive). Porterville Public Library
creatorOf Montgomery, James, 1771-1854,. Psalm XXIII, v. 4 and 6 [manuscript], 1835 December 12. Folger Shakespeare Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aikin, John, 1747-1822. person
associatedWith Albertson, Charles Carroll, 1865-1959. person
associatedWith Alexander, Ann. person
associatedWith Atkinson, J. person
associatedWith Brooke, William de Capell, 1801-1886. person
associatedWith Charlton, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834. person
associatedWith Created by John MacKay Shaw person
associatedWith Davenport, R. A. (Richard Alfred), 1777?-1852. person
associatedWith David, Virgil. person
associatedWith Davies, Jane Jones. person
associatedWith Ellis, William, 1794-1872 person
associatedWith Everett, James, 1784-1872. person
associatedWith Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881, person
associatedWith Hoar, George Frisbie, 1826-1904 person
associatedWith Hofland, Mrs. (Barbara), 1770-1844. person
associatedWith Hood, Thomas, 1799-1845. person
associatedWith Hurd, Richard, 1720-1808. person
associatedWith Iris (Sheffield) Sheffield (Yorkshire, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Jones, Howard Mumford, 1892- person
associatedWith Kenney, Meggy, fl. 1835. person
associatedWith Lardner, Dionysius, 1793-1859. person
associatedWith Lawrenceville Lyceum. corporateBody
associatedWith Lawrenceville Lyceum. corporateBody
associatedWith Lobb, William, 1804-1885. person
associatedWith McAllister, John A. (John Allister), 1822-1896, person
associatedWith Montgomerie, Alexander, 1545?-1598. person
associatedWith Montgomery James 1771-1854 person
associatedWith More, Hannah, 1745-1833. person
associatedWith Morley, Frances Parker, Countess of person
associatedWith Newall, Sarah. person
associatedWith Opie, Amelia Alderson, 1769-1853 person
associatedWith Possibly: Hedgeland, Reginald Follett Codrington, fl 1841-1846 person
associatedWith Rawson Mary Anne fl 1830 person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
associatedWith Reid, William Thomas, b. 1842 person
associatedWith Reynolds, John Hamilton, 1794-1852. person
associatedWith Scott, Alexander, 1525?-1584? person
associatedWith Scott, Eliza. person
associatedWith Sheffield Anti-Slavery Society Sheffield (Yorkshire, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Sheffield Register Sheffield (Yorkshire, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Southey, Robert, 1774-1843. person
associatedWith Thatcher, B. B. (Benjamin Bussey), 1809-1840 person
associatedWith Towers, Isabella Jane. person
associatedWith Tucker, Samuel, 1747-1833 person
associatedWith University of Chicago. Library. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Library. Special Collections Research Center. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Connecticut. Office of Public Infomation corporateBody
associatedWith Wightman and Cramp corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Sheffield (Yorkshire, England)
Pennsylvania
Oporto, Portugal
Great Britain
Pennsylvania
United States
Lisbon, Portugal
Subject
Poetry
Humorous poetry, English
Sentimentalism in literature
Elegiac poetry, English
Poets, English--Poetry
Religious poetry, English--19th century
Journalists England Yorkshire
Hymns
Learned institutions and societies--History--19th century
Poets, English--19th century--Correspondence
English poetry--19th century
Manuscripts--English
Hymns, English
Poets, Scottish--19th century--Correspondence
Slavery
Hymn writers--Great Britain--19th century--Correspondence
Occupation
Poets
Musicians
Activity

Person

Birth 1771-11-04

Death 1854-04-30

Britons

English

Information

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