James Stuart

1764-1840; b. Armagh; ed. Armagh Royal School and TCD; called to bar; first ed. of Newry Telegraph, 1812; ed. Newry Magazine, 1815-19; ed. Belfast News Letter, 1821; founded Guardian and Constitutional Advocate, 1827; published Poems on Various Subjects (1811); author of unsurpassed Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh (1819) [see Ledwich, supra]; also The Protestant Layman (1825); d. in poverty, Belfast. PI ODNB TAY DIB DIW DIH RAF FDA OCIL

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D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); James Stuart, LLD, poss. native of Armagh; ed. Newry Magazine (4 vols., 1815-19); contrib. to Walker’s Hibernian Magazine, 1784- ; two pieces in Lyra Hibernica Sacra; d. Belfast, 28 Sept.; tablet in Christ Church, Belfast. (See also Taylor, Irish Poets of the 19th c., 1951.) See also rems. in SEE Terence Brown, Northern Voices, Poets from Northern Ireland (1975), p.17f.

Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol. I; b. Armagh town; ed. TCD, BA 1789; Bar; contrib. Hibernian Magazine, The Newry Telegraph, The Newry Magazine, which he edited, The Belfast Guardian, et al. ODNB, d. 1842, O’Donoghue, 1840. Poems on Various Subjects (1811); Historical Memoirs on the City of Armagh, for a period of 1373 years, comprising a considerable portion of the general history of Ireland; a refutation of opinions of Dr. Ledwich respecting the non-existence of St. Patrick; and an appendix on the learning, antiquities, and religion of the Irish nation (Telegraph Office, Newry 1819; adapted by Fr. Ambrose Coleman, 1900). Also, Rafroidi (1980), Vol. 1, James Stuart, Poems (1811), includes a poem ‘On Sensibility’ (p.12), ‘The melting tear, the tender sigh,/The language of the speaking eye,/The thrill of ecstasy divine,/ Imaginations airy dream,/And the rapt poet’s wildest theme,/Sweet sensibility are thine.’ [c.37] (Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850, Vol 2, 1980.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2; selects Morna’s Hill [11-12]; 111, BIOG, b. Armagh, ed. Armagh Royal School and TCD, grad 1789; first ed. Newry Telegraph, 1812; ed. Newry Magazine, 1815-19; ed. Belfast News Letter, and contrib. theological letters, collected as The Protestant Layman (1825); d. Belfast 1842. Chiefly remembered for researches in Armagh -Newry area, his Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh is notable for its attack on Ledwich’s Antiquities (1790) in which the latter disputed stories concerning St Patrick; a single vol. of verse only distinguished by ‘Morna’s Hill’, a topographical poem, dealing with sites and landscapes associated with Armagh [‘behold that monument of former times/Yon mouldering abbey ... There Science once/And the splendid fabric reigned supreme ... Religion dwelled ... around her thronged her sacred sons, a pure and holy train,/Who, from the heaven-ascending virgin caught celestial inspiration. Wide around/they spread the living flame; and Europe saw the torch of learning, which barbarian hands/had quenched ..blaze of pomp ... Luxury ... Babylon ... viper ... Look at Thebes! ... Even thus shall fall these lofty cities ... circling Time ... The vacant spot, where once their glowing orbs/Enrobed in light had wheeled their glorious course.’ [END] WORKS, Poems on Various Subjects (Belfast: Smyth 1811); Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh, for a period of 1373 years (Newry: Wilkinson; London: Longman 1819); The Protestant Layman, or the challenge issued by D. O’Connell ... accepted (Belfast: Smyth 1825; 2nd ed. London: Hurst 1828).

Library of Herbert Bell, Belfast, holds Poems on Various Subjects (Belfast 1811); also Historical Memoirs of The City of Armagh (Newry 1819); revised edn., Memoirs of the City of Armagh by James Stuart A.B. edited by Rev. A. Coleman (Dublin 1900).

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