Montgomery, James (1771–1854)

A radical journalist and poet. His father was a Moravian pastor and missionary and Montgomery was educated at the Moravian school at Fulneck, near Leeds. He was the editor of the Sheffield Iris newspaper from 1794 to 1825, and was twice imprisoned in the 1790s for publishing articles critical of the authorities. He authored The Wanderer of Switzerland (1807), a poem severely criticised in the Edinburgh Review (Southey sympathised). He also wrote the anti-slavery poem The West Indies (1809) and a series of long historical epics, including Greenland (1819). Southey admired much about Montgomery’s verse (a feeling he shared with Byron), and Southey and Montgomery were occasional correspondents.

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