Pryse Lockhart Gordon

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Pryse Lockhart Gordon (24 April 1762 – 2 September 1845),[1] was a Scottish writer of memoirs.

Life[edit]

Gordon was born 24 April 1762 at Ardersier, Inverness-shire, where his father, the Rev. Harry Gordon, was minister of the parish. After his father's death (15 March 1764) his mother went to live with her father, the Revd Walter Morrison, in Banffshire. Young Gordon was educated at the parish school of Banff, and subsequently at the University of Aberdeen, where he did not remain long, obtaining a commission in the marines at the age of fifteen. He was principally employed in recruiting, and seems to have seen no active service except a few cruises, which yielded him, he says, £17 in prize-money. In 1792 he obtained a commission in a regiment raised by the Duke of Gordon, and after five years' service in Scotland was allowed to accompany his friend Lord Montgomery, an invalid, to Italy, where he remained until 1801, returning to find his regiment disbanded.

He obtained employment at Minorca; but as he was on the point of embarking, 'my good fortune threw in my way an amiable young widow', whom he married in autumn 1801.[1] This rendered him independent of military service. After living at Banff Castle and in Sloane Street, London, he went to Sicily with Lord Montgomery in 1811, and remained there until 1813, when he was prostrated by a sunstroke. The following year, after the peace, he took up his residence at Brussels, where he remained until his death. He died in Cheltenham on 2 September 1845.[1]

Writings[edit]

In 1823 Gordon wrote a guide for travellers, entitled A Companion to Italy, the success of which led to the appearance of his Personal Memoirs[2] in 1830. This contained reminiscences of notable persons known to the author, including Lady Hamilton, George Brydges Rodney, Richard Porson, Charles Burney, and James Perry of the Morning Chronicle. It sketches picture and antiquity hunting, at a time when bargains were to be had, and connoisseurs were liable to be imposed upon. Gordon himself obtained for Burney the copy of Constantine Lascaris's Grammar, the first Greek book printed, which went to the British Museum. There is a description of the English at Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. His reminiscences of Rodney asserted that Rodney, upon his return to England, volunteered to Gordon an acknowledgment of his acquaintance with Clerk of Eldin's essay on naval tactics, and his indebtedness to it. In 1834 Gordon published Holland and Belgium,[3] with notes on the Belgian Revolution and its causes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Richard Garnett, rev. Rebecca Mills. "Gordon, Pryse Lockhart". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Pryse Lockhart Gordon (1830). Personal memoirs: or, Reminiscences of men and manners at home and abroad, during the last half century. With occasional sketches of the author's life; being fragments from the portfolio of Pryse Lockhart Gordon .... H. Colburn & R. Bentley. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Pryse Lockhart Gordon (1834). Belgium and Holland: with a sketch of the revolution in the year 1830. Smith, Elder. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Gordon, Pryse Lockhart". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.