Blacklock, Thomas

(1721-1791)
   Born at Annan, Dumfriesshire, and though his parents were poor, young Thomas was well educated despite having lost his sight at six months old by an attack of smallpox. He acquired a little Latin and at the age of twelve attempted to write poetry. When his father was killed when Thomas was nineteen, he was patronized by Dr. Stevenson, an eminent physician at Edinburgh, who supported him entirely at the grammar school for four years. Blacklock contributed ten songs to the Scots Musical Museum (six volumes that appeared between 1787 and 1803, produced by James Johnson, with poems mainly by Robert Burns. It was re-issued by Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, in 1962), four of them to which he composed the melody. His other works included an "Essay towards Universal Etymology" and some theological papers. In his closing years he became deaf as well as blind and suffered long periods of dejection. His major works: A Collection of Original Poems, 1760. The Graham: An Heroic Ballad. In Four Cantos, 1774. Poems by the Late Reverend Dr. Thomas Blacklock: Together with an Essay on the Education of the Blind, 1793. 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). Significant and Famous Scots (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/blacklock_thomas.htm). Stanford University libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). The Burns Encyclopedia (www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

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

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Blacklock, Thomas — (1721 1791)    Poet, b. near Annan of humble parentage, lost his sight by smallpox when 6 months old. He began to write poetry at the age of 12, and studied for the Church. He was appointed Minister of Kirkcudbright, but was objected to by the… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

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