and soon passed out of his hands. He took out no less than thirty-two patents. Besides patents connected with railways he patented improvements in carriages for common roads, in ship propulsion, guns, wood-carving and other machines. He was the author of several books—‘English Pleasure Carriages,’ 1837; ‘Railways and Permanent Way,’ 1854; ‘Roads and Rails,’ 1862—and of memoirs and articles innumerable. He read several papers to the Society of Arts and the Institution of Civil Engineers, and contributed largely to the journal of the first-named society, as well as to many of the scientific and technical periodicals. Besides his writings on technical subjects, he was the author of several political pamphlets, published under the pseudonym of Junius Redivivus. Most of these were issued about the time of the 1832 Reform Bill. He died at Broadstairs, and was buried at St. Peter's. In 1834 he married Sarah Flower [see Adams, Sarah Flower].
[A very full biographical notice in Engineering newspaper, 26 July 1872 (xiv. 63), and a shorter sketch in the Journal of the Society of Arts, 2 August 1872 (xx. 763); Men of the Time (eighth edition).]
ADAMSON, HENRY (d. 1639), poetical writer, a native of Perth, was the son of James Adamson, who had been dean of guild in 1600, and provost in 1610 and 1611. He was the author of ‘The Muses Threnodie or Mirthfull Mourning on the Death of Master Gall. Containing varietie of pleasant poeticall descriptions, morall instructions, historical narrations and divine observations, with the most remarkable antiquities of Scotland, especially at Perth’ (Edinburgh, 1638, 4to). The multifarious contents of the book bear out the promise of the elaborate title. Preceding the elegy is a whimsical description, in rhymed octosyllabic verses, of the curiosities (which the owner used to fancifully call his ‘gabions’) in Mr. Geo. Ruthven's closet. The elegy itself gives a long account of the antiquities of Perth and the neighbourhood; Ruthven and Gall are introduced as speakers, and the ‘gabions’ are made to bear a part. It was chiefly owing to the encouragement and advice of William Drummond, of Hawthornden, that this curious poem was published. In the year after its publication the author died prematurely. He had been trained for the pulpit. A very elaborate edition of the ‘Muses Threnodie’ was issued (in two volumes) in 1774 by a Scotch antiquary, James Cant.
[Cant's preface to the Muses Threnodie, 1774.]
ADAMSON, JOHN (d. 1653), was principal of the university of Edinburgh and a bosom friend of Andrew Melville; he is deserving of remembrance as the editor of ‘Tὰ τῶν Μουσῶν Εἰσόδια. The Muses Welcome to the High and Mighty Prince Iames by the grace of God King of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. At his Majestie's happie Returne to his olde and native Kingdome of Scotland, after 14 yeeres absence, in Anno 1617. Digested according to the order of his Majesties Progresse. By I. A. [John Adamson].’
John Adamson was son of Henry Adamson, provost of Perth, and grandson of Dr. Patrick Adamson, archbishop of St. Andrews [see Adamson, Patrick]. Educated in ‘grammar’ learning in his native city, Master Adamson proceeded early to the university of St. Andrew's, where subsequently he held the professorship of philosophy. In 1589 he was appointed to one of the professorial chairs in the university of Edinburgh, which office he held with great reputation until 1604. In 1604, having been presented to the church of North Berwick, he resigned his professorship. Later he was translated to the parish of Libberton, near Edinburgh, In 1625, on the death of Dr. Robert Boyd of Trochrig, he was appointed principal of the university of Edinburgh, and held the post till 1653, the year of his death; when he was succeeded by the ‘holy Leighton.’ It is believed that he collected the Latin poems of Andrew Melville, entitled ‘Viri clarissimi A. Melvini Mvsæ’ (1620). His ‘Dioptra Gloriæ Divinæ’ (1637) is a masterly commentary on Psalm XIX, and his ‘Methodus Religionis Christianæ’ (1637) has much of the terseness and suggestiveness of Musculus. His ‘Traveller's Joy’, to which is added ‘The Ark’ (1623), has been undeservedly overlooked by the historians of Scottish poetry. The ‘Muses Welcome’ preserved speeches and ‘theses’ and poems by himself and nearly all his famous contemporaries—e.g. David and Alexander Hume, Drummond of Hawthornden, David Wedderburn, Dr. Robert Boyd, David Primrose. The gem of the collection is Drummond's ‘Panegyricke to the King,’ which contains his enumeration of the rivers of Scotland, done with a picturesqueness and felicity of characterisation not inferior to Michael Drayton. Nichols's ‘Progresses of James I’ preserves the ‘speeches.’
[The Muses' Welcome, ut supra; Melville's Musæ (ib.); Dr. McCrie's Andrew Melville, ii. 456, 511; Corser's Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, i. 12–14; Works enumerated; MSS. at North Berwick, Libberton, Edinburgh.]