Robert Montgomery (poet)

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Robert Montgomery Robert Montgomery cropped from Wellcome V0006808.jpg
Robert Montgomery

Robert Montgomery (1807–1855) was an English poet and minister, the natural son of Robert Gomery (1778-1853), an actor and clown, and Elizabeth Meadows Boyce, a schoolteacher. He was born in Bath, Somerset, and educated at a private school in the city. Later, he founded an unsuccessful weekly paper in that city. In 1828 he published The Omni-presence of the Deity, which hit popular religious sentiment so exactly that it ran through eight editions in as many months. In 1830 he followed it with The Puffiad (a satire), and Satan, or Intellect without God. An exhaustive review in Blackwood's by John Wilson, followed in the thirty-first number by a burlesque of Satan, and two articles in the first volume of Fraser, ridiculed Montgomery's pretensions and the excesses of his admirers. But his name was immortalized by Macaulay's famous onslaught in the Edinburgh Review for April 1830, "an annihilating so Jove-like that the victim automatically commands the spectator's rueful sympathy." [1] This review did not, however, diminish the sale of his poems; The Omnipresence of the Deity reached its 28th edition in 1858. In 1830 Montgomery entered Lincoln College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1833 and M.A. in 1838. Taking holy orders in 1835 he obtained a curacy at Whittington, Shropshire, which he exchanged in 1836 for the charge of the church of St. Jude, Glasgow. In 1843 he removed to the parish of St. Pancras, London, when he was minister of Percy Chapel.



On 7 October 1843, at St George's Hanover Square, London, Montgomery married Rachel Catherine Andrews MacKenzie (1814-82), the daughter of Alexander Douglas McKenzie (died 1842) of Bursledon, Hampshire, and had a daughter:

His brother-in-law was Rev Frederic Charles Cook (1804-1889).

Montgomery died at Brighton on 3 December 1855.

List of works

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  1. D. B. Wyndham Lewis and Charles Lee, The Stuffed Owl, p. 173.