Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Greenock: John Galt

The prolific author, John Galt (1779 -1839), was one of the most famous and successful businessmen and Scottish writers of his day. He was born in Irvine but moved to Greenock when just ten years old. From 1796 - 1804 Galt worked as a junior justice clerk in Greenock before moving to London to study political economy and commercial history. He began to write in his twenties, trying his hand at verse and then, more successfully, essays and novels. In 1809 Galt spent a period of time travelling on the Mediterranean and he became acquainted with Lord Byron, which led years later to his great biography, The Life of Byron. He returned to London, married, and wrote many successful works, including The Ayrshire Legates, The Steamboat, Sir Andrew Wylie, The Gathering of the West, The Provost and Lawrie Todd. After several years spent in Canada, he was then forced to return to Britain under a charge of debt which led to a prison sentence. He continued to write many books, including his autobiography, and eventually retired to Greenock in 1834.

My photos of the John Galt memorial fountain on the Greenock Esplanade are below.

More information about his life here


Anonymous said...

Hi Jane. Like your site. Here is a pic of the John Gault lair in Inverkip Street cemetery.
Regards, Robert.

Jane said...

Thank you very much Robert, and also for letting me see this photo. I'm very impressed by your various albums!