History of Leith, Edinburgh

December 13, 2004

Armstrong, John (1771-97)

A journalist and poet born at Leith. He went to Edinburgh University, studied for the Church, then got a job on a newspaper in London. His health failed, and he retired back to Leith.

As a student, he published, with Peter Hill in 1789, a book with the unusual title, Juvenile Poems, with remarks on poetry, and a dissertation on the best method of punishing and preventing crimes.
He admired the poetry of Burns, who referred to him in a letter to Peter Hill, from Ellisland, on 2nd February 1790:

‘Mr Armstrong, the young poet who does me the honour to mention me so kindly in his works, please give him my best thanks for the copy of his book. I shall write him my first leisure hour. I like his poetry much, but I think his style in prose quite astonishing.’

for more go to the “The Burns Encyclopedia” link on the rhs

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