Frederick George Scott

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Frederick George Scott
Frederick Scott de Maré during the Great War
Frederick Scott de Maré during the Great War
Born(1861-04-07)7 April 1861
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died(1944-01-19)19 January 1944
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
CitizenshipBritish subject
Literary movementConfederation Poets
Notable awardsCMG, Distinguished Service Order, FRSC
ChildrenFrank (F.R. Scott) Henry (H. H. Scott)

Frederick George Scott (7 April 1861 – 19 January 1944) was a Canadian poet and author, known as the Poet of the Laurentians. He is sometimes associated with Canada's Confederation Poets, a group that included Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, Archibald Lampman, and Duncan Campbell Scott.[1] Scott published 13 books of Christian and patriotic poetry. Scott was a British imperialist who wrote many hymns to the British Empire—eulogizing his country's roles in the Boer Wars and World War I. Many of his poems use the natural world symbolically to convey deeper spiritual meaning. Frederick George Scott was the father of poet F. R. Scott.


Scott was born 7 April 1861 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He received a B.A. from Bishop's College, Lennoxville, Quebec, in 1881, and an M.A. in 1884. He studied theology at King's College, London in 1882, but was refused ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada for his Anglo-Catholic beliefs. In 1884 he became a deacon. In 1886, he was ordained an Anglican priest at Coggeshall, Essex. He served first at Drummondville, Quebec, and then in Quebec City, where he became rector of St. Matthew's Anglican Church.

In April 1887, Scott married Amy Brooks, who would bear him six surviving children. In 1889, anthologist W.D. Lighthall included two of his poems in his anthology, Songs of the Great Dominion, and as well used a quotation from Scott, "All the future lies before us / Glorious in that sunset land", on the title page as the book's epigraph.[2]

In 1914, well over the age of 50, Scott enlisted to fight in World War I. He held the rank of Major and served as the Senior Chaplain to the 1st Canadian Division.[3] His son Captain Henry Hutton Scott, 87th Battalion (Canadian Grenadier Guards), Canadian Infantry was killed on 21/10/1916, age 24, during the Battle of the Somme. He is buried in Bapaume Post Military Cemetery.

After the war he became chaplain of the army and navy veterans.[4]

During the Quebec Conference of 1943, Scott was invited by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt to a private meeting where he read some of his poetry.

Frederick George Scott died on 19 January 1944 in Quebec City, leaving a daughter and four sons.


In 1885, Scott printed his first chapbook, Justin and Other Poems, later included in The Soul's Quest and Other Poems (London 1888). "Several of Scott's early narrative poems, and his later didactic novel Elton Hazelwood (1891), describe typically Victorian crises of faith and the recognition of 'life and death as they are'.... Scott's many religious poems and his novel offer a more explicit rendering of the Victorian pessimism underlying the poetry of his more significant contemporaries, Charles G.D. Roberts and Archibald Lampman."[4]

John Garvin, who included Scott's poems in his 1916 anthology Canadian Poets, wrote of him: "Frederick George Scott, 'The Poet of the Laurentians,' has this supreme gift as a writer: the art of expressing noble, beautiful and often profound thoughts, in simple, appropriate words which all who read can understand. His poems uplift the spirit and enrich the heart." [3] "The Unnamed Lake" has been called his best-known poem.[4]

Garvin included a quotation from M.O. Hammond writing in the Toronto Globe: "Frederick George Scott's poetry has followed three or four well-defined lines of thought. He has reflected in turn the academic subjects of a library, the majesty of nature, the tender love of his fellowmen, and the vision and enthusiasm of an Imperialist. His work in any one field would attract attention; taken in mass it marks him as a sturdy, developing interpreter of his country and of his times. Whether he writes of 'Samson' and 'Thor,' of the 'Little River,' or whether he expands his soul in a 'Hymn of Empire,' his lines are marked by imagination, melody, sympathy and often wistfulness. Living on the edge of the shadow-flecked Laurentians, he constantly draws inspiration from them, and more than any other has made articulate their lonely beauties. His pastoral relations with a city flock give colour and tenderness to not a few of his poems of human relationships. His ardent love of the Empire gives rein to his restless, roving thoughts and has finally drawn him to the battle-front as a chaplain." [3]

The Canadian Encyclopedia calls him "an Anglican priest, minor poet and staunch advocate of the civilizing tradition of imperial Britain, who instilled in his son a commitment to serve mankind, a love for the regenerative balance of the Laurentian landscape and a firm respect for the social order." [5]



  • The Key of Life. Quebec, 1907.[6]

Except where noted, bibliographic information from Canaiian Poetry.[7]


  1. ^ "Confederation Poets," Canadian Poetry, Web, Mar. 21, 2011.
  2. ^ William Douw Lighthall, Songs of the Great Dominion: Voices from the Forests and Waters, the Settlements and Cities of Canada (Walter Scott [Windsor Series], 1889), Google Books, Web, Apr. 30, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d John Garvin, "Frederick George Scott," Canadian Poets (Toronto: McClelland, Goodchild, and Stewart, 1916), 75, Web, Mar. 23, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d Sandra Djwa, "Frederick George Scott Biography," Encyclopedia of Literature, 8668,, Web, May 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Keith Richardson. "Scott, Francis Reginald (Frank)," Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988), 1961.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Search results: Frederick George Scott, Open Library, Web, May 7, 2011.
  7. ^ "Frederick George Scott," Canadian Poetry, UWO, Web, Apr. 19, 12011.

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