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The Scottish Nation
Bogue, Boag, and Boog

BOGUE, BOAG, AND BOOG, varieties of a surname common in the south of Scotland. From its similarity, as used in the most ancient families, to the old French name De Bogue, it is probably of French or Norman origin. The word Bogue, in old Norman-French and Spanish, signifies a mouth (Bocca), and is used in Spanish topography to describe a narrow channel or passage of water, as Bogue Chito, (little mouth,) in Louisiana. It is met with also in the names of a few places in Scotland, but all in the province of Moray; as in the old residence of Bog o’Gight, now Gordon Castle, near the new or small mouth of the Spey, and which may be the same as Bogue Chito, even when pronounced in modern Spanish; Boat-of-Bog, the village of the old ferry at the above mouth or channel of the Spey; and perhaps the water of Bogie itself, which is not so much a river as a mouth, channel, or passage, by which the two streamlets Craig and Corchinnan, after a short course, reach the Deveron. It would almost appear from this nomenclature as if, when Malcolm IV. drove out the ancient inhabitants of Moray, and introduced a new colony in their stead, that these latter were natives of Toulouse or of the neighbourhood of the Pyrenees, where the Spanish tongue was spoken; a circumstance the less unlikely, as it was for having served under Henry II. at Tourlouse, and in defence of that people against the king of France, that the Moravians professed to have rebelled against him. The word occurs in English in disembogue, to discharge by a mouth. Embogue, the opposite of this latter word, is used as a noun in an old writer (Florian, in 1613) in a sense so similar to bog – which originally implied not a soft mud but a body and oftimes a large body, of water, without an outlet – as to suggest its being the original of the latter term. The subject of the following notice is the only individual who has obtained a place in Biography, but the name is common in old writings:

BOGUE, DAVID, the Rev., one of the fathers and founders of the London Missionary Society, was born at Hallydown, parish of Coldingham, Berwickshire, February 18, 1750. He was the fourth son of John Bogue, laird of Hallydown, and Margaret Swanston, his wife. He commenced his classical education at the school of Eyemouth, and afterwards studied for the church at the university of Edinburgh, and in due time was licensed as a preacher of the gospel. In 1771 he went to London, and was for some time employed as usher in an academy at Edmonton; afterwards in the same capacity at Hampstead, and ultimately went to the Rev. Mr. Smith’s at Camberwell, whom he assisted also in his ministerial duties. He subsequently became minister of an Independent chapel at Gosport. In 1780, besides his clerical charge, he undertook the duties of tutor to an institution in that town, for the education of young men destined for the ministry in connection with the Independent communion. At the same time, he originated the design of a grand missionary scheme, which afterwards led to the formation of the London Missionary Society. Soon after he took an active part in the establishment of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Religious Tract Society. To the latter body he contributed the first of a series of very useful publications. In 1796, he and the Rev. Greville Ewing of Glasgow, and the Rev. William Innes of Edinburgh, who, like himself, had left the Church of Scotland and become Independent ministers, agreed with Robert Haldane, Esq. of Airthrie, who sold his estate to furnish funds for the purpose, to go out to India to preach the gospel to the natives. The East India Company, however, refused their sanction to the undertaking, and the design was in consequence abandoned; providentially for them, as a massacre of Europeans afterwards took place at the exact spot which had been fixed upon for the missionary station, where a seminary was to have been built for the education of missionaries. In 1815, the Senatus Academicus of Yule college North America, conferred upon him the degree of D.D. Dr. Bogue was in the practice of making an annual tour to the country in behalf of the Missionary Society. In one of these journeys, in which he had been requested to assist at a meeting of the Sussex Auxiliary Society, he became unwell at the house of the Rev. Mr. Goulty of Brighton; and after a short illness, died there, October 25, 1825, in the 75th year of his age. At the time of his death he was president of the seminary of missions at Gosport. He was an eminently amiable, energetic, and pious man, and contributed much towards a revival of religious feeling in the age and body with which he was connected. His history of Dissenters is written with considerable feeling of dislike to the persecuting party, as he called them. It is mentioned, and it is creditable to him, that before his death he expressed regret for the harsh manner in which he wrote respecting some members of the English church. His works are:

      Reasons for seeking a Repeal of the Test Acts, by a Dissenter. London, 1790, vo.

      An Essay on the Divine Authority of the New Testament, written at the request of the London Missionary Society. London, 1891, 8vo. This work has been translated into the French, Italian, German, and Spanish languages.

      A Catechism for the use of all the Churches in the French Empire; from the French. London, 1807, 12mo.

      A Sermon preached before the Promoters of the Protestant Dissenters, Grammar School, Mill-hill. Hendon, 1808.

      Discourses on the Millennium.

      History of the Dissenters, from the Revolution in 1689, to the year 1808; in conjunction with Mr. Bennet. 1809, 3 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1812, 4 vols, 8vo. Another edition, 1833.

      Sermons by the Rev. Dr. Grasomer; with a Preface. 1809.

      On the first appearance of the Evangelical Magazine in 1793, Dr. Bogue contributed several powerful articles to its columns.

BOAG, JOHN (1775-1863), compiler of the ‘Imperial Lexicon' was born at High-gate in the parish of Beith, Ayrshire, 011 7 Jan. 1775. He matriculated at the university of Glasgow in 1797, and completed his academical course with a view to taking orders in the church of Scotland, but joined the body of independents or congregational-ists, who in 1812 formed themselves into the Congregational Union of Scotland. He acted for many years as an evangelist, and not infrequently in the open air or by the wayside. He had small charges in the Isle of Man and Helensburgh. Ultimately he accepted the appointment of pastor over a very small independent congregation in the village of Blackburn, Linlithgowshire, from which, it is believed, he never received more than 25/. to 30/. a year. He also kept a day-school on his own account. It was in this humble position that Boag compiled his magnum opus. His aim was to combine etymology, pronunciation, and explanation of scientific terms and others used in art and literature. He wished also to incorporate (1) new words since Johnson, and (2) modifications and other changes of meanings. He commenced this arduous undertaking after he had entered his seventieth year. Within three years his manuscript was ready for the press. It was printed and published by the Edinburgh Printing and Publishing Company. Unfortunately this company speedily became bankrupt. About 1847 Messrs. Fullarton & Co. became proprietors of the ‘Imperial Lexicon' and issued it in parts or numbers, constituting two massive volumes. The work had an enormous sale and held its own until the publication of Ogilvie’s Dictionary, which was largely based upon it. Prefixed was a ‘Popular Grammar of the English Language/ by Mr. R. Whyte. Besides his ‘ Imperial Lexicon/ Boag was the author of a number of pamphlets on questions of the day, and was a frequent contributor to contemporary religious periodicals.

He married Agnes Hamilton on 19 June 1798, by whom he had six sons and three daughters. One of his sons was Sir Robert Boag, mayor of Belfast. He died at Craigton House, Linlithgowshire—the residence of a daughter-in-law, with whom he had resided in his later years—on 15 Sept. 1863, in the eighty-ninth year of his age.

'[Communications from Blackburn (Linlithgowshire); from Rev. James Ronaldson, Longridge, Fauldhouse; Rev. George Boag, M.A., Holme Eden Vicarage, Carlisle; John Macnab, Esq., Edinburgh (of Eullarton & Co.); and Boag’s books.]

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