James Thomson (1700-1748)
James Thomson was a poet and playwright from Kelso in the Scottish Borders. He was educated at Edinburgh University and studied divinity to become a minister of the Church of Scotland.
His most famous work is a poem called ‘The Seasons’ (1730). Originally published as individual poems between 1726 and 1728 with one poem dedicated to each season. ‘The Seasons’ came out as a combined edition in 1730. Thomson also wrote the lyrics for Rule Britannia as part of a short play, or masque, called ‘Alfred’.
Image: ‘James Thompson’, after John Patoun, circa 1746. By courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.