Ross, Alexander

   1. (1591-1654)
   Born at Aberdeen and educated at King's College, Aberdeen, around 1616 he became the headmaster of the free school at Southampton, Hampshire, England, and was vicar for twenty-six years at St. Mary's Church, Southampton (the church that inspired the ballad The Bells of St. Mary, words by Douglas Furber, music by Emmett Adams, 1917, and sung by Bing Crosby in the 1946 film by the same name). He became vicar of Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight in 1642, and he died at Bramshill, Hampshire. In his will he left money to the poor householders of All Saints' parish, Southampton, to the parish of Carisbrooke for the poor; the universities of Aberdeen, Oxford and Cambridge also received legacies. It is said that after he died, a small fortune in gold was discovered among his books. Ross wrote many books, mostly very small, in English and Latin. His favorite subjects were theology, history, and philosophy, and he produced a considerable amount of verse. Some of his poems: "Ænæas," "Æsculapius," "Cyclopes," "Endymeon," "Fortuna," "Ganimedes," "Gratiæ," "Three Decads of Divine Meditations."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu).
   2. (1699-1784)
   Born to a farmer from Aberdeenshire, he went on a bursary to Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1714, and graduated M.A. in 1718. For some time afterwards he was tutor to the family of Sir William Forbes of Craigievar and Fintray, then taught in the schools at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, and Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire. In 1732 he became schoolmaster at Lochlee, Forfarshire, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died at Lochlee and was buried there. Ross was a poetic disciple of Allan Ramsay (see entry), whose The Gentle Shepherd seems to have inspired Ross in his highly popular Helenore, or The Fortunate Shepherdess, a pastoral tale in three cantos-written in the Scottish dialectwhich contains pleasant descriptions of country life and scenery. He also wrote witty songs, among them "The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow, Wooed and Married and A" and "The Bridal O."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Significant and Famous Scots (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/ross_alexander2.htm). The Burns Encyclopedia, Alexander Ross (http://www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia/index-r.shtml). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Scottish Verse, John MacQueen and Tom Scott, eds. Oxford University Press, 1966. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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