Bisset, James

(1762-1832)
   Born in the Scottish city of Perth, he was educated at a school where the fee for him and his sister together was a penny a week and enough peat every Monday morning during winter to keep the fire. His love of art and literature was fostered in early childhood by reading copies of the Gentleman's Magazine and old books from a second-hand bookstall. At fifteen he became an artist's apprentice at Birmingham, and by 1785 he was gaining a reputation as a painter of miniatures. Although he composed many poems he will be longest remembered for his unique, superbly engraved Poetic Survey round Birmingham (1800). The Patriotic Clarion, or Britain's Call to Glory, original Songs written on the threatened Invasion (1803) was dedicated by permission to the Duke of York. In 1804 he published Critical Essays on the Dramatic Essays of the Young Roscius. A Picturesque Guide to Leamington was published in 1814. He died and was buried at Leamington, Warwickshire. Some of his poem: "Flights of Fancy," "Ramble of the Gods through Birmingham," "Songs of Peace," "The Orphan Boy," "Theatrum Oceani."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. 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 New Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse. Roger Lonsdale, ed. Oxford University Press, 1984.

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

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