Thomson Monument, Kelso, Scotland

This evening I am posting information on the person commemorated by a huge monument on the landscape between Kelso and Ednam in the Scottish Borders, about forty four miles S.E. of Edinburgh.

This monument is dedicated to James Thomson (1700-1740), a Scottish poet and dramatist. Summary information on Thomson as follows:

  • Born in village of Ednam, one of nine children and son of local Presbyterian Minister.
  • Attended school in Jedburgh (Scottish Borders) and then Edinburgh University where he studied Divinity.
  • Abandoned studies in 1725 and moved to London where he worked as a tutor.
  • One of most popular series of poems was The Seasons (1730).
  • Wrote extensively for the stage producing such tragedies as Agamemnon (1738), Tancred and Sigismunda (745) and Coriolanus (1748).
  • Also in 1740 wrote words of Rule Britannia (music by Thomas Arne (1710-1778)).
  • During 1735-6 wrote Liberty which was dedicated to Prince of Wales who awarded Thomson a pension.
  • Thomson’s masterpiece considered to be The Castle of Indolence which was produced prior to his death.
  • Thomson is buried in St Mary’s Church, Richmond, England. There is a statue of Thomson in Westminster Abbey, London.

The monument stands on a prominent ridge from where are good views of the local landscape.

Scottish Borders Landscape.

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