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John Gibson Lockhart


1794 - 1854

Author and literary critic, best known for his biography of his father-in-law Sir Walter Scott. Born a son of the manse at Cambusnethan (South Lanarkshire), his father moved to Blackfriars Parish Church in Glasgow in 1796, and Lockhart was educated at the High School of Glasgow, the University of Glasgow and Balliol College, Oxford. He went on to study law at the University of Edinburgh, gained entrance to the Faculty of Advocates in 1816 and settled in the city. However, rather than following a legal career, Lockhart joined the staff of Blackwood's Magazine at its foundation the following year and soon gained a reputation for his acerbic criticism ensuring the magazine gained a popular following.

In 1818, Lockhart met Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) and, within two years, had married his eldest daughter, Sophia. He moved to London in 1825 to take over the editorship of the Quarterly Review, holding this post until 1853. Lockhart returned to Scotland the following year, where he died at Abbotsford House, by then home to his daughter Charlotte.

His works include a Life of Robert Burns (1828), a social history, Peter's Letters to His Kinsfolk (1828), a novel Adam Blair (1822) which tells the story of a widowed minister who has an affair with a married woman, and his Ancient Spanish Ballads (1832). However, Lockhart is best remembered for one of the great biographies in the English language, his Life of Sir Walter Scott (1837-38 and enlarged in 1839).

Plaques record his living at Northumberland Street in Edinburgh's New Town (1821-25) and on Bellfield Street in Portobello (1827).


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