Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ballantine, James

BALLANTINE, JAMES (1808–1877), artist and man of letters, born at Edinburgh in 1808, was entirely a self-made man. His first occupation was that of a house-painter. He learned drawing under Sir William Allen at the Trustees' Gallery in Edinburgh, and was one of the first to revive the art of glass-painting. In 1845 he published a treatise on 'Stained Glass, showing its applicability to every style of Architecture,' and was appointed by the royal commissioners on the fine arts to execute the stained-glass windows for the House of Lords. He was the author of several popular works:

  1. 'The Gaberlunzie's Wallet,' 1843.
  2. 'The Miller of Deanhaugh,' 1845.
  3. An 'Essay on Ornamental Art,' 1847.
  4. 'Poems,' 1856.
  5. 'One Hundred Songs, with Music,' 1865.
  6. 'The Life of David Roberts, R.A.' 1866.

There is also a volume of verses published by Ballantine in Jamaica, whither in later life he seems to have retired for the benefit of his health. 'The Gaberlunzie's Wallet' and some of his songs are still popular in Scotland. He died in Edinburgh in December 1877. He was the head of the firm of Messrs. Ballantine, glass stainers, Edinburgh.

[Athenæum, 22 Dec. 1877; Academy, 29 Dec. 1877; Cooper's Men of the Time, 1875.]

E. R.