Pennecuik, Alexander

    (uncle), and Alexander (nephew) (1652-1730)
   • Alexander, the uncle, 1652-1722
   Born in Edinburgh, he was the son of Alexander Pennecuik of Newhall, Edinburgh, who had been an army surgeon. In 1715, he published A Geographical, Historical Description of the Shire of Tweeddale, with a Miscellany and Curious Collection of Select Scottish Poems. He was a friend of Allan Ramsay (see entry), and it is thought that Newhall was the scene for Ramsay's The Gentle Shepherd. Pennecuik died in 1722 and was buried by his father's side in the churchyard at Newlands, Peebles-shire. Some of his publications: Caledonia Triumphans, 1699. A Panegyric to the King, 1699. The Tragedy of Graybeard, 1700. Curious Scots Poems, 1762. Some of his poems: "Address to His Majesty King George," "Against Passionate Love," "Ane Letter by Way of Challenge," "In Imitation of Anacreon," "Indifferent Robin to Coy Meg his Mistress," "Inscription for My Bee-House," "On a Glutton," "The City and Country Mouse," "To His Highness the Prince of Orange," "Two Ingenious Gentlemen."
   • Alexander, the nephew, ?-1730
   Little is know of this Alexander, other than he, too, was a doctor and was interested in all things of the countryside. He is often confused with his uncle. In 1720, he published Streams from Helicon, or Poems on Various Subjects, in three parts, by Alexander Pennecuik, Gent. In 1726 he published Flowers from Parnassus, and before his death he appears to have begun a periodical, Entertainment for the Curious. He was buried in the Greyfriars churchyard, Edinburgh, described in the register as "Alexander Pencook, merchant." His life, so it seems, was characterized by overindulgence, which resulted in never having enough money. He was the unofficial poet laureate of Edinburgh. Several collections were published posthumously, including A Collection of Scots Poems on several occasions, by the late Mr. Alexander Pennecuik, Gent, and Others (1787). Some of his writings are marred by obscenity, but his satires, generally aimed against Whigs and Presbyterians, are witty. Some of his other publications: A Pastoral Poem sacred to the Memory of Lord Basil Hamilton, 1701. Britannia Triumphans, 1718. Groans from the Grave, 1725. Some of his poems: "The Lost Maidenhead," "The SelfTormentor," "The Mourning Muse," "The Fair Maid of Dumblain," "Sabbath-Days Thoughts Upon the Love of Jesus."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). 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. The Works of Alexander Pennecuik, Esq. A. Allardice, 1815.

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

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