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JAMES GRAHAME

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 320 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JAMES GRAHAME 11765-1811), Scottlstl poet, was born in t;iasgow on the 22nd of April 1765, the son of a successful ,awyer. After compt'eting his literary courge at Glasgow univer- 319 sity, Grahame went in 1784 to Edinburgh, where he qualified as writer to the signet, and subsequently for the Scottish bar; of which he was elected a member in 1795. But his preferences had always been for the Church, and when he was forty-four he took Anglican orders, and became a curate first at Shipton, Gloucestershire, and then at Sedgefield, Durham. His works include a dramatic poem, Mary Queen of Scots (18o1), The Sabbath (1804), British Georgics (1804), The Birds of Scotland (18o6), and Poems on the Abolition of the Slave Trade (181o). His principal work, The Sabbath, a sacred and descriptive poem in blank verse, is characterized by devotional feeling and by happy delineation of Scottish scenery. In the notes to his poems he expresses enlightened views on popular education, the criminal law and other public questions. He was emphatically a friend of humanity—a philanthropist as well as a poet. He died in Glasgow on the 14th of September 1811. GRAHAM'S DYKE (or SHEUGH=trench), a local name for the Roman fortified frontier, consisting of rampart, forts and road, which ran across the narrow isthmus of Scotland from the Forth to the Clyde (about 36 m.), and formed from A.D. 140 till about 185 the northern frontier of Roman Britain. The name is locally explained as recording a victorious assault on the defences by one Robert Graham and his men; it has also been connected with the Grampian Hills and the Latin surveying term groma. But, as is shown by its earliest recorded spelling, Grymisdyke (Fordun, A.D. 1385), it is the same as the term Grim's Ditch which occurs several times in England in connexion with early ramparts —for example, near Wallingford in south Oxfordshire or between Berkhampstead (Herts) and Bradenham (Bucks). Grim seems to be a Teutonic god or devil, who might be credited with the wish to build earthworks in unreasonably short periods of time. By antiquaries the Graham's Dyke is usually styled the Wall of Pius or the Antonine Vallum, after the emperor Antoninus Pius, in whose reign it was constructed. See further BRITAIN: Roman. (F. J. H.) GRAHAM'S TOWN, a city of South Africa, the administrative centre for the eastern part of the Cape province, ro6 m. by rail N.E. of Port Elizabeth and 43 M. by rail N.N.W. of Port Alfred. Pop. (1904) 13,887, of whom 7283 were whites and 1837 were electors. The town is built in a basin of the grassy hills forming the spurs of the Zuurberg, 176o ft. above sea-level. It is a pleasant place of residence, has a remarkably healthy climate, and is regarded as the most English-like town in the Cape. The streets are broad, and most of them lined with trees. In the High Street are the law courts, the Anglican cathedral of St George, built from designs by Sir Gilbert Scott, and Commemoration Chapel, the chiefplace of worship of the Wesleyans, erected by the British emigrants of 1820. The Roman Catholic cathedral of St Patrick, a Gothic building, is to the left of the High Street. The town hall, also in the Gothic style, has a square clock tower built on arches over the pavement. Graham's Town is one of the chief educational centres in the Cape province. Besides the public schools and the Rhodes University College (which in 1904 took over part of the work carried on since 1855 by St Andrew's College), scholastic institutions are maintained by religious bodies. The town possesses two large hospitals, which receive patients from all parts of South Africa, and the government bacteriological institute. It is the centre of trade for an extensive pastoral and agricultural district. Owing to'the sour quality of the herbage in the surrounding zuurveld, stock-breeding and wool-growing have been, however, to some extent replaced by ostrich-farming, for which industry Graham's Town is the most important entrep&t. Dairy farming is much practised in the neighbourhood. In 1812 the site of the town was chosen as the headquarters of the British troops engaged in protecting the frontier of Cape Colony from the inroads of the Kaffirs, and it was named after Colonel John Graham (1778-1821), then commanding the forces. (Graham had commanded the light infantry battalion at the taking of the Cape by the British in the action of the 6th of January 18o6. He also took part in campaigns in Italy and Holland during the Napoleonic wars.) In 181 .4 an attempt was made by the Kaffirs to surprise Graham's Town, and ro,000 men attacked it, but they were repulsed by the garrison, which numbered not more than 320 men, infantry and artillery, under Lieut.-Colonel (afterwards General Sir) Thomas Willshire. In 1822 the town was chosen as the headquarters of the 4000 British immigrants who had reached Cape Colony in 182o. It has maintained its position as the most important inland town of the eastern part of the Cape province. In 1864 the Cape parliament met in Graham's Town, the only instance of the legislature sitting elsewhere than in Cape Town. It is governed by a municipality. The rateable value in 1go6 was 0891,536 and the rate levied 22d. in the pound. See T. Sheffield, The Story of the Settlement . , . (2nd ed., Graham's Town, 1884); C. T. Campbell, British South Africa .. . with notices of some of the British Settlers of 1820 (London, 1897).
End of Article: JAMES GRAHAME
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