Letters and Poems of James Telfer (1800-1862)

Scope and Content

The material consists of a letter to Mr. White mentioning Mr. O, a poet, 1850, and, sonnets To a fairy and to the flower called 'Queen of the meadow'. Also a playbill.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Telfer was born in Southdean, Roxburgh, on 3 December 1800. As a shepherd he gradually educated himself and became a country schoolmaster, teaching in Castleton, Langholm, and then for some twenty-five years at a small adventure school of his own at Suaghtrees in Liddesdale. He was an admirer of the poet James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd (1770-1835) whom he befriended. In 1824 he published a volume of poems entitled Border ballads and miscellaneous poems. James Telfer died on 18 January 1862.

Access Information

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The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 19. Stow-Tytler. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1909.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show another reference to Telfer related material in the Laing Collection (check the Indexes for more details): letter of Telfer to R. White discussing fellow poet 'O', 5 August 1850.