Important acquisitions

A poem to the memory of Mr. Robert Sandeman.

Author Colborn Barrel [et al.]
Title A poem to the memory of Mr. Robert Sandeman.
Imprint [Aberdeen?: s.n.]
Date of Publication 1771?
Language English
Notes This is a very rare collection of poems celebrating the life of Robert Sandeman (1718-1771), the Scottish promoter of the Glasite sect, and author of the controversial theological work "Letters on Theron and Aspasio" (Edinburgh, 1757). After being active in his local city of Perth then in Edinburgh, Sandeman was invited to New England by Congregational ministers based there, and he sailed from Glasgow to Boston in August 1764. The success of his American mission was limited by his loyalty to Britain in the unsettled years leading up to the American Declaration of Independence. Moreover, his theology was not always regarded highly by American theologians, and in 1770 he was brought to trial by the Connecticut authorities. He died at Danbury, in this state, in the following year and was buried there. The poems in this pamphlet seem to have been printed shortly after his death, possibly in Aberdeen, as the only other two known copies of this work are held in Aberdeen University library. Throughout the first poem, "A poem to the memory of Mr. Robert Sandeman" which is anonymous, Sandeman is addressed as Palaemon, the pseudonym taken from the name of a famous Roman grammarian, and used by him in "Theron and Aspasio". This long poem of twelve pages is followed by a series of five elegies under the general title of "Elegies on Mr. Robert Sandeman": the first is by Colborn Barrel, and the others are signed by (in turn) Alford Butler, Archibald Rutherford, Robert Boswell and David Mitchelson. The fourth elegy (ending on p. 20) concludes with 'Finis', so the final two leaves containing the elegy by Mitchelson could be a later addition, as they are missing in one of the Aberdeen University library copies. Three of the elegy writers can be identified as being based in New England at the time. Colborn Barrel was a merchant in New Hampshire, who was recorded as having preached at a Sandemanian service in 1770. Alford Butler (1735-1828) was probably a bookseller and binder based in Boston and then Portsmouth, N.H. Unlike Barrell, who had expressed his dislike of British rule, he was a loyalist and because of his opposition to American independence he may have lived in Canada for a few years. David Mitchelson was, like Alford Butler, involved in the Boston book trade. Mitchelson is known to have been a Sandemanian, and is supposed to have worked for John Mein (a Scots emigre with connections to the Sandeman family), who was at this time publisher of the "Boston Chronicle". The other two contributors probably did not come from America. Robert Boswell (1746-1804) was almost certainly a cousin of the biographer James Boswell, Robert being the son of James Boswell, Lord Auchinlecks younger brother. Like his father, Robert was an adherent of the Glasite sect in Scotland and argued with James about it in 1777 - as recorded by Boswell in his journal entry for 10 April for that year ("Boswell in Extremes 1776-1778", ed. Pottle and Weis). Robert became very close to the Glasites by marrying into the Sandeman family: his wife was the niece of Robert Sandeman. Archibald Rutherford has not been identified; he may have been based in Scotland although there are records of aman of that name who lived in Virginia and whose dates are said to have been 1732-1830.
Shelfmark RB.s.2856
Reference Sources Bookseller's notes. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Acquired on 11/05/12
Search for Important Acquisitions
      

 

Please let us know what you think of this resource, if you have information to add about an acquisition, or if you have rare Scottish books that you would like to donate or sell. E-mail us at rarebooks@nls.uk

Back to Important Acquisitions Introduction