Thomson, JAMES (1700-48), English poet, was born at Ednam, in Roxburghshire, and was the son of a clergyman. He entered Edinburgh University, intending to study divinity, but gave up the idea, and in 1725 came to London. In the following year he published his first poetical volume, Winter, which gave him an assured reputation and three guineas' profit. In 1727 Summer was published, and in 1728 Spring, a complete edition of The Seasons appearing in 1730. During the year or two previous he had brought out several tragedies, which were fairly successful, but are now rightly forgotten. He obtained an appointment as travelling tutor, and as such journeyed over Europe, and on his return was given several other small appointments, a pension of £100 being subsequently given to him by the Prince of Wales. He was often in poverty, and on one occasion was rescued from prison by the geperosity of James Quin, the actor. In 1748 he published his well-known Castle of Indolence, which, with his Seasons, constitutes his chief claim to renown, his other productions being quite unread and unreadable. There is much keen poetical insight in the works named, and also much that is dull, laboured, and artificial.