Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/245

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


England and while teaching in Riga. Writing to the ‘Scots Magazine’ in 1803 he announced the early completion of his work, mentioning at the same time his indebtedness to the friendship of Sir Walter Scott, whose ‘Border Minstrelsy’ omitted ‘much curious and valuable matter’ which he had collected (Border Minstrelsy, i. 81). He published in 1806 two volumes entitled ‘Popular Ballads and Songs, from Tradition, Manuscript, and scarce editions, with Translations of similar Pieces from the antient Danish Language and a few Originals by the Editor.’ Returning to Scotland in 1808 Jamieson became, through Scott's influence, assistant to the depute-clerk-register in the General Register House, Edinburgh, and he held the post for thirty-six years. He died in London, 24 Sept. 1844.

Scott, who held a high opinion of Jamieson, emphasized (ib. i. 82) his discovery of the undoubted kinship between Scandinavian and Scottish story, ‘a circumstance,’ he adds, ‘which no antiquary had hitherto so much as suspected.’ Like Scott's ‘Minstrelsy,’ Jamieson's ‘Ballads’ worthily preserve oral tradition, many of them being transcripts from recitations of an aged Mrs. Brown in Falkland, Fifeshire; they give spirited and instructive versions of northern ballads; they are annotated with scholarship and taste; and in the original section Jamieson's lyrics ‘The Quern Lilt’ and ‘My Wife's a winsome wee thing’ secure for him a place among minor Scottish singers. In addition to his ‘Popular Ballads’ Jamieson was, together with Henry Weber and Sir Walter Scott, responsible for the ‘Illustrations of Northern Antiquities’ (Edinburgh, 1814, roy. 4to), and in 1818 he prepared a new edition of Edward Burt's ‘Letters from the North’ (London, 1818, 2 vols. 8vo), to which Scott again contributed (Life, iv. 220).

[Archibald Constable and his Literary Correspondents; Rogers's Scottish Minstrel; J. Grant Wilson's Poets and Poetry of Scotland.]

T. B.

JAMIESON, ROBERT (d. 1861), philanthropist, was a successful London merchant, who sought to civilise Africa by opening up its great rivers to navigation and commerce. His schooner, the Warree, went to the Niger in 1838. In 1839 he equipped at his own expense the Ethiope, whose commander, Captain Beecroft, explored under his directions several West African rivers to higher points in some instances than had then been reached. Narratives of these explorations were published by Jamieson and others in the ‘Journal of the Royal Geographical Society’ (cf. Journal, 1838, pp. 184, &c.). When the Melbourne ministry, in 1841, resolved to send the African Colonisation Expedition to the Niger, Jamieson denounced the scheme in two ‘Appeals to the Government and People of Great Britain.’ The expedition broke up, through disease and disaster, in September 1841, and on 25 Oct. most of the surviving colonists were rescued by the Ethiope. Jamieson pointed out the fulfilment of his prophecies in a ‘Sequel to two Appeals,’ &c., London, 1843, 8vo. In 1859 he published ‘Commerce with Africa,’ emphasising the insufficiency of treaties for the suppression of the African slave trade, and urging the use of the land route from Cross River to the Niger, to avoid the swamps of the Delta. In 1840 he was offered, but declined, a vice-presidency of the Institut d'Afrique of France. He died in London on 5 April 1861.

[Gent. Mag. 1861, i. 588; Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, 1860–1, p. 160.]

J. T-t.

JAMIESON, ROBERT, D.D. (1802–1880), Scottish divine, son of a baker in Edinburgh was born there on 3 Jan. 1802. He was educated at the high school, where he carried off the chief honours, and matriculated at Edinburgh University, with the intention of studying for the medical profession. Before he had completed his course, however, he decided to devote himself to the ministry; for that purpose he entered the Divinity Hall, and was licensed as a preacher on 13 Feb. 1827. Two years afterwards he was presented by George IV to the parish of Weststruther, in the presbytery of Lauder, and entered on that charge on 22 April 1830. There he remained till 23 Nov. 1837, when he was translated to the church of Currie, in the presbytery of Edinburgh, to which he was presented by the magistrates of that city. At the time of the disruption of 1843 he made strenuous efforts to prevent a schism, on the ground that the reforms demanded might be accomplished without imperilling the existence of the established church. When Dr. Forbes, minister of St. Paul's, Glasgow, who was one of the disruption leaders, resigned his charge, Jamieson was appointed his successor by the magistrates of Glasgow, and was admitted as minister on 14 March 1844. The university of Glasgow conferred the degree of doctor of divinity upon him on 17 April 1848. For many years Jamieson took a prominent part in ecclesiastical business, and in 1872 he was unanimously chosen moderator of the general assembly. He continued to occupy his place as minister of St. Paul's until his death on 26 Oct. 1880. Jamieson specially charged himself with the oversight of young men studying for the ministry, and