Boswell, Robert (DNB00)


BOSWELL, ROBERT (1746–1804), psalmist, was a descendant of the Auchinleck family in Ayrshire, and a writer to the signet in Edinburgh. Born in 1746, he received a classical education, and having early in life attached himself to the religious opinions of the ‘Glassites,’ or ‘Sandemanians,’ he was chosen by the church in Edinburgh to be one of their teaching elders. He was on a visit to his friends in London, and preached in their chapel there on Sunday, 1 April 1804. His text was ‘All flesh is as grass.’ In the middle of the sermon he was seized with illness and died in a few minutes.

He was the author of a volume entitled ‘The Book of Psalms in Metre from the Original, compared with many Versions in different Languages,’ London (J. Johnson), 1784; second edition, 1786. In his ‘Prefatory Notes’ the author tells us he has adhered chiefly to the version used by the church of Scotland, and that he has compared 233 manuscript and 93 printed editions of the Book of Psalms. The only Sandemanian chapel mentioned in the census of 1851 was near Barbican, with an attendance of 200 worshippers. It was here that Boswell died, and Faraday officiated as elder.

[Holland's Records of Psalmists, 1843; Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual, 1867.]

J. H. T.