Jamieson's chief work, the ‘Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language,’ appeared, with an elaborate preliminary dissertation, in 2 vols. 4to, in 1808. While Jamieson was in Forfar an interview with the Danish scholar Thorkelin had suggested this work. His special knowledge and great industry enabled him, with Ruddiman's glossary to ‘Gavin Douglas’ as a basis, to complete it almost single-handed. He prepared a valuable abridgment in 1818 (this was reissued in 1846 with a prefatory memoir by John Johnstone), and by further diligence and perseverance, aided by numerous volunteers, he added two supplementary volumes in 1825. The work (reissued with additions in 1840), while somewhat weak in philology, is generally admirable in definition and illustration, and evinces a rare grasp of folklore and important provincialisms. The introductory dissertation, ingeniously supporting an obsolete theory regarding the Pictish influence on the Scottish language, has now a merely antiquarian interest. The revised edition, 1879–87, by Dr. Longmuir and Mr. Donaldson, with the aid of the most distinguished specialists, has a high philological as well as literary value.
Jamieson's other works were: 1. ‘Socinianism Unmasked,’ 1786. 2. ‘A Poem on Slavery,’ 1789. 3. ‘Sermons on the Heart,’ 2 vols., 1791. 4. ‘Congal and Fenella, a Metrical Tale,’ 1791. 5. ‘Vindication of the Doctrine of Scripture,’ in reply to Priestley's ‘History of Early Opinions,’ 2 vols., 1795, displaying ample knowledge and argumentative skill. 6. ‘A Poem on Eternity,’ 1798. 7. ‘Remarks on Rowland Hill's Journal,’ 1799. 8. ‘The Use of Sacred History,’ 1802, a scholarly and suggestive work. 9. ‘Important Trial in the Court of Conscience,’ 1806. 10. ‘A Treatise on the Ancient Culdees of Iona,’ 1811, published, through Scott's active generosity, by Ballantyne (Life of Scott, ii. 332). 11. ‘Hermes Scythicus,’ 1814, expounding affinities between the Gothic and the classical tongues.
Apart from juvenile efforts Jamieson likewise wrote on such diverse themes as rhetoric, cremation, and the royal palaces of Scotland, besides publishing occasional sermons. In 1820 he issued in two 4to volumes well-edited versions of Barbour's ‘Bruce’ and Blind Harry's ‘Wallace,’ which Scott commended to his friends (Life of Scott, iii. 132). Posthumous ‘Dissertations on the Reality of the Spirit's Influence,’ published in 1844, had only a moderate success. Jamieson prepared extensive autobiographical notes, from which others have drawn, but they have not been published.
[Memoir by John Johnstone prefixed to his edition of the Dict.; Tait's Edinburgh Mag. August 1841; Memoir with posthumous Dissertations; revised Memoir in Dict., vol. i. 1879; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen.]
JAMIESON, JOHN PAUL, D.D. (d. 1700), Roman catholic divine and antiquary, was born at Aberdeen, and brought up in the protestant faith, but afterwards turned Roman catholic, and in 1677 was admitted into the Scots College at Rome, which he left in 1685, being then a priest and D.D. He was nominated to the chair of divinity in the seminary of Cardinal Barbarigo, bishop of Padua, but he soon returned to Rome, where he resided until he was sent back to the mission in 1687, when all the Scottish priests abroad were required by special orders from James II to return to their native country. He was stationed first at Huntly, began a new mission at Elgin in 1688, and died at Edinburgh on 25 March 1700.
During his residence in Rome he transcribed, at the Vatican and elsewhere, original documents for use in a projected ‘History of Scotland,’ which he did not complete. Some of these documents he bequeathed to Robert Strachan, missionary at Aberdeen, and the remainder were deposited in the Scots College at Paris. According to Nicolson's ‘Scottish Historical Library,’ he brought from Rome copies of many bulls and briefs, made extracts of the consistorial proceedings of the church of Scotland from 1494 to the Reformation, wrote critical notes on Spotiswood's ‘History’ and on the printed ‘Chronicle of Melros,’ made remarks on ‘Reliquiæ Divi Andreæ’ by George Martin of Cameron, and compiled a ‘Chartulary of the Church of Aberdeen.’ He discovered in the queen of Sweden's library at Rome the original manuscript of the ‘History of Kinloss’ by John Ferrarius, and communicated his transcript of that work to many of his learned countrymen.
[Innes's Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of the Northern Parts of Britain, ii. 578; Keith's Hist. of the Church of Scotland, Appendix; Michel's Les Écossais en France, ii. 322; Nicolson's Scottish Historical Library, 1736, pp. 29, 64, 74, 134; Stothert's Catholic Mission in Scotland, p. 567.]
JAMIESON, ROBERT (1780?–1844), antiquary and ballad collector, born about 1780, was a native of Morayshire, and was early appointed an assistant classical teacher at Macclesfield, Cheshire. There he designed a collection of Scottish ballads illustrative of character and manners, and he was engaged upon it for several years after 1800 both in