Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM American National Biography Online. © Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in American National Biography Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Callender, James Thomsonlocked

(1758–17 July 1803)
  • Michael J. Durey

Extract

Callender, James Thomson (1758–17 July 1803), political writer and newspaper editor, was born in Scotland, the son of a tobacconist. Of his childhood and youth little is known, except that he was raised as a Presbyterian and received a classical education. He first came to prominence in 1782 when he published a work critical of Dr. Samuel Johnson. A supplementary volume published in 1783 was less successful, and for the next seven years he worked as a clerk. During this period he married (wife's name unknown), eventually having four children. Displaying early a strong sense of self-righteousness and a Calvinist contempt for human depravity, Callender destroyed his career as a clerk by agitating for the dismissal of a superior, whom he accused of corruption. Thereafter, from about 1790, he moved toward radicalism, writing a number of anonymous pamphlets critical of British politics and extolling Scottish nationalism. In 1792 he became a member of the Scottish Friends of the People, attending the Edinburgh Convention in December 1792 as a militant radical. Later that month, Lord Gardenstone, his patron, admitted to the authorities Callender's authorship of ...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription