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JAMES THOMPSON, the son of a minister well esteemed for his piety and diligence, was born Septeno ber 7, 1700, at Ednam, in the shire of Roxburgh, of which his father was pastor. His mother, whose name was Hume, inherited, as co-heiress, a portion of a small estate. The revenue of a parish in Scotland is seldom large, and it was probably in commiseration of the difficulty with which Mr. Thomson supported his family, having nine children, that Mr. Riccarton, a neighbouring minister, discovering in James uncom mon promises of future excellence, undertook to superintend his education, and provide him books.
He was taught the common rudiments of learning at the school of Judburgh, a place which he delights to recollect in his poem of Autumn: but was not considered by his master as superior to common boys, though in those early days he amused his patron and his friends with poetical compositions; with which, bowever, he so little pleased himself, that on every