James Maxwell

Short Name: James Maxwell
Full Name: Maxwell, James
Birth Year: 1720
Death Year: 1800

Maxwell, James , was born in Renfrewshire in 1720. In his youth he journeyed to England with a hardware pack, but eventually returning to Scotland, he followed the joint occupation of schoolmaster and poet. In 1783, during a famine in Scotland he was reduced to great destitution, and had to earn his bread by breaking stones on the highway. Most of his publications (from 30 to 40 in all) were produced after that period. The two works in which we are interested are:—

(1) Hymns and Spiritual Songs. In Three Books. 1759. (2) A New Version of the whole of the Book of Psalms in Metre; by James Maxwell, S. D. P. [Student of Divine Poetry.] Glasgow, 1773.

From the former of these the following hymns are in common use:—
1. All glory to the eternal Three. Holy Trinity.
2. Didst Thou, dear Jesus [Saviour], suffer shame. Resignation and Courage.
3. Go forth, ye heralds, in my Name. Missions.

The last of these is in somewhat extensive use in America, where it appeared as early as in the Prayer Book Collection, 1789. Maxwell died at Paisley (where he was known as the Paisley Poet, or as he put it on the title-page of some of his books, Poet in Paisley) in 1800.
[Rev. J. T. Bingley, L.R.A.M., F.G.O.]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


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