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The Scottish Nation

ATKINSON, THOMAS, a pleasing poet and miscellaneous writer, was born at Glasgow about the year 1801. He is said to have been the illegitimate son of a butcher of that city. After receiving his education, he was apprenticed to Mr. Turnbull, bookseller, Trongate, on whose death he entered into business, in partnership with Mr. David Robertson. From boyhood he was a writer of poetry, prose sketches, and essays; and among other things brought out by him were, ‘The Sextuple Alliance,’ and The Chameleon. Three successive volumes of the latter were published annually, containing his own pieces exclusively, he was also sole editor and author of ‘The Ant,’ a weekly periodical, and an extensive contributor to ‘The Western Luminary,’ ‘The Emmet,’ and other local publications. His writings are distinguished by taste and fancy, and he was indefatigable in producing them. His talents for speaking were also of a superior order, and he took every opportunity of displaying his powers of oratory. At the general election, after the passing of the Reform Bill, Mr. Atkinson, who was a keen reformer, started as a candidate for the Stirling burghs, in opposition to Lord Dalmeny, who was returned. Being naturally of a delicate constitution, his exertions on this occasion brought on a decline; and when seized with advanced symptoms of consumption, he disposed of his business, his books, and his furniture, and sailed for Barbadoes, but died on the passage on the 10th October 1883, in the 32d year of his age. He was buried at sea in an oaken coffin, which he had taken with him! He left an annuity to his mother, and a sum, after accumulation, to be applied in building an Atkinsonian Hall in Glasgow for scientific purposes. His relatives erected a monument to his memory in the necropolis of his native city.

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