Lives of
Scottish Poets
edited by

Center for Applied Technologies
in the Humanities

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Literary Chronicle
New Monthly Magazine
Monthly Review
Notes and Queries
Gibson and Laing
Halkett and Laing
Scottish Notes & Queries

Part I. (Volume I.)
James the First
Thomas the Rhymer
John Barbour
Andrew Wyntoun
Gavin Douglas
Allan Ramsay
William Meston
John Home
James Beattie
Robert Burns

Part II. (Volume I.)
James the Fifth
William Dunbar
Sir James Inglis
Henry the Minstrel
Sir David Lyndsay
Alexander Barclay
Alexander Montgomerie
William Alexander
William Drummond
James Thomson
John Oswald

Part III. (Volume II.)
James the Sixth
Sir Richard Maitland
Arthur Johnston
Hamilton of Bangour
Hamilton of Gilbertfield
Samuel Colvil
Alexander Ross
John Armstrong
John Ogilvie
James Macpherson
Charles Salmon

Part IV. (Volume II.)
Alexander Hume
John Bellenden
Mark Alexander Boyd
Ninian Paterson
William Wilkie
Robert Fergusson
William Julius Mickle
Alexander Geddes
James Grahame

Part V. (Volume III.)
Robert Henryson
Alexander Scott
Walter Kennedy
John Ogilby
Alexander Pennecuik
Alexander Cunningham
David Mallet
William Falconer
Francis Garden
Robert Blair
James Moor
James Graeme
Caleb Whitefoord
James Grainger
Hector Macneill
John Wilson

Part VI. (Volume III.)
Robert Kerr
Richard Lord Maitland
Thomas Hamilton
Charles Hamilton
Michael Bruce
Thomas Blacklock
John Logan
Andrew Macdonald
James Mercer

Appendix. (Volume III.)
James I
Allan Ramsay
John Home
Robert Burns
William Drummond
Robert Fergusson
Alexander Scott
John Wilson

The Bibliography of Robert Burns was compiled by the Scottish antiquary James Gibson (1819-1886). Gibson reports a conversation with David Laing, secretary of Walter Scott's Bannatyne Club, and perhaps the most formidable antiquarian bibliopole in Scotland.

Laing was already in business as a bookseller when Lives of Scottish Poets was published, and he would have consulted it in his work as editor and librarian. He, if anyone, would have known the identities of its authors.

But his attribution of the work to the autodidact Robert Mudie (1777-1842) seems like a shrewd guess rather than actual knowledge; Mudie removed from Dundee to work as a reporter at the London Morning Chronicle in late 1821. While he may have been a contributor, it seems most unlikely that he could have been directing the project from Scotland.
James Gibson.
The Bibliography of Robert Burns, Biographical and Critical Notes.
Kilmarnock: 1881.
p. 141.

Lives of Scottish Poets, with Portraits and Vignettes. Three volumes. [18-mo.]

But he was of the North Countrie,
A Nation fam'd for song.
The Minstrel.
London: Thomas Boys. 1822.

Vignette Portrait of Burns, by W. T. Fry. Life of Robert Burns, 1st volume, pages 157 to 198, initialed A. S. The Appendix to the 3rd volume, page 73, contains a reference to the conduct of George Thomson to Burns, as noted in the 1st volume, page 182; also, a Letter from Edinensis to the Editor of The Lives of Eminent Scotsmen, dated, Argyle Square, Edinburgh, 29th December, 1821, defending Thomson from the charge of illiberality towards Burns.

The Lives of Scottish Poets professes to be written by the Society of Ancient Scots, but there was no such Society existing. The late David Laing, LL.D., was of opinion, that it was written chiefly, if not wholly, by a literary man, settled in London, of the name of Mudie, and the variety of initials to the different lives were a mere blind to mislead.