Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thomson, Alexander (1763-1803)

THOMSON, ALEXANDER (1763–1803), poet, was born on 7 Aug. 1763. He resided in Edinburgh, and was an intimate friend of Robert Anderson (1750–1830) [q. v.] Thomson was the author of several poems, of which the best known were ‘Whist’ (London, 1791, 4to; 2nd edit. 1792, 8vo) and ‘An Essay on Novels’ (Edinburgh, 1793, 4to). He died in Edinburgh on 7 Nov. 1803, leaving a widow and six daughters.

Besides the works mentioned, Thomson published:

  1. ‘The Choice,’ a poem, Edinburgh, 1788, 4to.
  2. ‘The Paradise of Taste,’ London, 1796, 4to.
  3. ‘Pictures of Poetry,’ Edinburgh, 1799, 8vo.
  4. ‘The British Parnassus at the Close of the Eighteenth Century,’ Edinburgh, 1801, 4to.
  5. ‘Sonnets, Odes, and Elegies,’ Edinburgh, 1801, 8vo.

He also published ‘The German Miscellany,’ Perth, 1796, 12mo, consisting of translations from Kotzebue and Meissner, and translated Kotzebue's comedy, ‘The East Indian,’ London, 1799, 8vo. He left an unfinished ‘History of Scottish Poetry.’

[Nichols's Lit. Illustr. vii. 78, 122, viii. 343, 374; Gent. Mag. 1803, ii. 1096; Lit. Memoirs of Living Authors, 1798, ii. 306; Baker's Biogr. Dram. i. 710, ii. 58, 264; Monthly Mag. 1801, p. 93.]

E. I. C.