Glasgow & West Of Scotland Property Index, 1933

Sir Harry Lauder

Thomas Campbell,
page 10 of 11

and on the fact that few poets have touched the hearts of so many nationalities. He excelled in ballads—national, naval, and war ballads—several of which, such as the “Battle of the Baltic” and “Ye Mariners of England,” are known to every schoolboy. It has been said, not without justice, that his genius took so lofty a position at the first soar that in every successive flight whatever did not surpass was regard as inferior to his former efforts. He was his own rival, and they who had admired and wept over “The Pleasures of Hope” and “Wyoming” were unmoved by the simple domestic pathos of “Theodric.”

Strangely enough the statue to Campbell was not erected until 1877. That it now stands in the Square is largely owing to the efforts of the late Sheriff Glassford Bell and Bailie Salmon, who acted as chairman of the subscribers. Most appropriately Mr. James A. Campbell, now Dr. Campbell, M.P., was asked to unveil it. On the occasion he said: “It has long been a matter of regret — I may even say of reproach — that there was no public monument in his native city to Thomas Campbell, the poet of “The Pleasures of Hope.” To-day that want is supplied. If our tribute to the poet’s memory comes rather late, it comes at a not unfitting time -- the centenary of the poet’s birth. And the delay is not without some advantage. It shows that he whom we wish to honour had a fame that will endure. The years that have elapsed since his death have only confirmed the words of Washington Irving, that ‘Still we find his poems, like the stars, shining on with undiminished lustre.’ It seems fitting also that a monument to Campbell should stand in this square, so that, with other memorials of public benefactors, whether princes, statesmen, warriors, men of science, or authors, it may remind the busy crowds who pass to and fro of the honour accorded to those who in any way contribute to the public good; and may also remind them that in this world in which God has placed us there is for every man a wider range of things than his own individual work or business, and help to nurture within them more exalted aspirations and purer tastes.”

Professor Nichol was asked to propose the vote of thanks to the sculptor, Mr. Mossman, and said that Campbell had few superiors among the poets of the last century and the beginning of this, and that he was the author of one of the three greatest war songs of the modern world—“The Marseillaise,” “Scots wha hae,” and “Ye Mariners of England,” and that Mr. Mossman, who had been privileged before to execute the statues of Peel and Livingstone for this open-air Pantheon of Glasgow, had now most successfully prepared the noble effigy of one whose genius shed lustre on our city and our country.

In regard to Campbell’s birthplace, the following letters appeared in the Glasgow Herald of 17th and 18th July, 1891:—

MOFFAT, 16th July, 1891.

SIR,—My attention has been called to the correspondence in your columns in regard to above. I have taken some interest in such matters, and have no hesitation in saying that the Rev. Dr. Macleod stated it correctly in the MS. quoted by Mr. Morrison. The old mansion at the south-west corner of Nicholas and High Streets was the residence of his father at the time, and the poet was born in the parlour. In our early college days there was a Mr. Burnet, a bookseller, opposite the College, who took much interest in these matters, and knew about all the people


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