Moravian establishment at Fulneck, Leeds


Born November 4, 1771, in Ayrshire, Scotland, James Montgomery was brought up and educated by Moravians near Leeds after his parents left for America, never to return. He became an editorial assistant to the Sheffield Register in 1792. Acquiring the newspaper himself, he renamed it the Isis and in it advocated reformist causes at an unpopular time, during the French Revolution, and went to jail for his trouble twice in 1795-96. He returned to his journalism then and published a book of poems about his imprisonment. This led to an avocation in poetry and letters. He brought out volumes of poems and hymns from 1797 until the mid-19th-century. After 25 years in the news business, Montgomery retired from journalism and lived on a Literary Fund pension until his death on April 30, 1854. Throughout his life he actively worked for humanitarian causes and gained the respect and affection of his fellow poets.

  • Ferguson, James, ed. The Chimney-Sweeper's Friend and Climbing-Boy's Album.. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1824. Garland facsimile, intro. by Donald H. Reiman. HD 6247 C482G73 1978 Robarts Library
  • --. The Christian Psalmist; or, Hymns, Selected and Original. Glasgow: Chalmers and Collins, 1825. 6th edn. 1829: VP40 1829 Victoria College Library
  • --. Greenland and Abdallah. Intro. by Donald H. Reiman. New York: Garland, 1978. PR 5032 .G6 1978 Robarts Library
  • --. Greenland and Other Poems. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1819. 2nd edn.: PR 5032 G6 1819 Robarts Library
  • --. Lectures on Poetry and General Literature. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, 1833. Intro. by John Valdimir Price. 1995. PN 511 M44 1995 Victoria College Library
  • --. Original Hymns For Public, Private, and Social Devotion. London: Longman, Brown, Green, 1853. PR 5032 O96 1853 Victoria College Library
  • --. Prison Amusements, and Other Trifles: Principally written during Nine Months of Confinement in the Castle of York, as Paul Positive. London: Joseph Johnson, 1797.
  • --. The Pelican Island. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1827. 2nd edn. 1828: PR 5032 P4 1828 Robarts Library
  • --. The Poems of James Montgomery. Intro. by George Wiley. Sheffield: Hallamshire, 2000. PR 5031 .W56 Robarts Library
  • --. Poems of James Montgomery. Ed. Robert Aris Willmott. London: Routledge, Warne and Routledge, 1860 [i.e. 1859]. ptz Z9 M65 P64 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. The Poetical Works., 4 vols. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1826-27. PR 5030 A2 1841 Robarts Library.
  • --. The Poetical Works of James Montgomery. Collected by Himself. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1850. British Library 11611.f.12
  • --. A Practical Detail of the Cotton Manufacture of the United States of America; and the State of the Cotton Manufacture of that Country Contrasted and Compared with that of Great Britain; with Comparative Estimates of the Cost of Manufacturing in both Countries. Glasgow: J. Niven, 1840. Ec.H M7876p Robarts Library
  • --. Prose by a Poet., 2 vols. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1824.
  • --. Sacred Poems and Hymns: for Public and Private Devotion. New York: Appleton, 1854. VT M766s Victoria College Library
  • --. Songs of Zion. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1822. 2nd edn.: PR 5032 S7 1824 Robarts Library
  • --. Thoughts on Wheels. London: Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1817. [Published with Samuel Roberts' The State Lottery.] D-11 1230 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. Verses to the Memory of the Late Richard Reynolds, of Bristol. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816.
  • --. The Wanderer of Switzerland, and Other Poems. London: Vernor and Hood, and Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1806. 1813 edn.: LE M7876w Robarts Library
  • --. The Whisperer; or, Tales and Speculations, as Gabriel Silvertongue. London: J. Johnson, 1798.
  • --. The West Indies, and Other Poems. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, 1810. 5th edn.: PR 5032 W2 1819 Robarts Library
  • --. The World Before The Flood, A Poem, in Ten Cantos; with Other Occasional Pieces. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1813. 4th edn.: PR 5032 W6 1815 Robarts Library
  • --, and E. Benger. Poems on the Abolition of the Slave Trade. London: R. Bowyer, 1809. E-10/121 Fisher Rare Book Library. 1814 edn.: E-10/1512 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • Tolley, G.. "Montgomery, James (1771–1854)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: OUP, 2004.