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3. Items of Interest from 1858

The following items from The Glasgow Sentinel of 1858 have no overt connection to Robert Buchanan, but I found them interesting.


A poem by David Gray on the marriage of Princess Victoria (eldest child of Queen Victoria) to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (later German Emperor Frederick III) which took place on 25th January, 1858.

The Glasgow Sentinel (27 February, 1858 - p.6)


LO! she comes in glory,
     From the empire of the sea!
From the castle turrets hoary
     Float our banners fair and free;
Deck Winter’s beard with flowers,
     In the heart’s own Summer springing;
And set all our leafless bowers
     To a hearty welcome ringing;—
For a sweet rosebud, the fairest,
     Is come to open here;—
For a noble maid, the rarest,
     Hath glorified the year
With a tale of love most tender—
     With a fond, confiding tale;—
And shall Prussia fail to render
     A welcoming “All Hail!”

Lo! pour out the wine,
     And let beacons light the deep,
Where, through the festal brine,
     Do the gallant vessels sweep;—
Let Berlin’s lamps be lighted—
     For the pride of England’s land
A youthful troth hath plighted,
     Hath bestowed a virgin hand.
We know her land of childhood,
     All surrounded by the sea;
We know the Windsor wildwood,
     In its ancient grandeur free;
But Prussia has a garden
     Where this bonniest bud may flourish—
In a soil that ne’er shall harden,
     In a land that aye shall cherish.

We know the tender parting
     By the solemn altar’s side;
We know the fond first starting
     Of the newly-wedded bride;
And we love her more for telling
     How her fainting heart grew sore,
As the chorus was outswelling
     Its ecstatic “never more”
For England! She is ours;—
     Ho! ring out the music there!
Ye maidens, line the towers
     With your smiling faces fair;—
Let each bosom beat in cadence
     Across wide Prussia’s land,
For the rosebud queen of maidens
     Hath alighted on our land!

     Merkland.                                                                                                                           D. GRAY.



The Glasgow Sentinel (10 July, 1858 - p.6)

Original Poetry.


THE moon hath sunk behind the Strachurben,
     And the fair West is blushing at the parting;
The longing Thetis wins her lord again,
     While Cynthia with her maidens is up-starting.

Over Ben Cruachan she glides in glory,
     And shines more brightly as the day-light dies;
While one clear star, well known in rythmic story,
     The dearest beauty of the ebon skies,

Is deepening yonder into passionate brightness—
     Into an eloquence unutterable;
Like my loan soul into a calm contriteness—
     A full God-worship, reverent and stable.

Darker and darker grows the pensive west,
     Higher and higher rides the meek-eyed moon;
Deeper and deeper in the Loch’s great breast
     Her shadows saileth to the sphere’s high tune.

 Full of the silent eloquence of Night,
     Touched with the softness of Divinity,
 My spirit ponders o’er that inner light,
     The lustre of whose gleam can never die.

I cannot tell why thoughts have me o’erwhelmed—
     Thoughts of the grave, and all the mysteries
That in the great unknown lie sadly realm’d—
     The border land of wonder sand vain cries.

I am an idle dreamer among men,
     And sadly apt to laugh at Reason’s faith;
But far beyond e’en “mimic Fancy’s” ken
     Lies the almighty truth of Life and Death.

Hid from the softened lustre of the moon,
     Sit I beneath the shadow of that tree,
Whose golden ringlets play i’ the neck of June:
     These dismal thoughts my only company.

 The world is shrouded in a shroud of light:
     The mighty mountains, glorious, eternal—
Those speechless deities of olden night,
     Whose very silence is a choir supernal,

Are cowled, like friars, with a cloud of grey—
     A worship vestment of a woof the fairest—
Like friars, unto God their homage pay,
     Homage from Nature’s self, the purest, rarest.

And in my soul, a sympathetic glow,
     Communicable with the light that lies
On hill and dale, and waters as they flow,
     That breathes from out the sadly-shining skies.

Of Night, Day’s soft-eyed sister, now is born
     Hospitious—a sad joy, a joy in grief:
And I could think of Death until the morn,
     Could think all darkest things, and find relief.

Hush! lone and chilling as the painful wail
     Of a weak child in agony, the sound
Of night-wind haunts the pines of Innishail,
     While brooding Darkness spreads her wing around.

Fair “Isle of Beauty!” fairest Innishail!
     Laden with legends of the olden time,
When pious chantings sanctified the vale,
     And fires were covered at the curfew’s chime.

Faded thy convent as a morning dream
     Of holy happiness; thy altar spoiled!
And she, the fairest! on whose brow the gleam
     Of adoration lay most undefiled,

Is surely praising in a better sphere
     The great God who was all in all to her:
And though her hapless fate may draw a tear,
     Her spotless virtue claims the worshipper.

Sure, happiness is all our own creation,
     For, drawing glory from the soft fair skies,
Her life was but a sunny adumbration
     Of life angelical in Paradise.

O, God of Heaven! and deities immortal!
     My heart weeps out in Adoration’s tears:
For, shining grandly at celestial portal,
     Thy streaming glory gilds a thousand spheres.

And thou, fair moon! mild Cynthia of old!
     I cannot call that loveliness material
Which made the fairest heart of Endymion bold
     To woo a goddess, beautiful, ethereal.

Farewell! and happy what I now have gained
     Of Nature’s love, may serve some future time,
When for new scenes my restless mind is pained—
     For sunny snatches of some foreign clime!

     Merkland.                                                                                                                     DAVID GRAY.



The Glasgow Sentinel (2 October, 1858 - p.8)


Review of the Public Reading by Charles Dickens.

The Glasgow Sentinel (9 October, 1858 - p.4)


Robert Owen died on 17th November, 1858. Considering the importance of Owen to Robert Buchanan Snr., I thought this editorial in The Glasgow Sentinel might be of interest.

The Glasgow Sentinel (27 November, 1858 - p.4)


And this is very ‘of its time’.

The Glasgow Sentinel (4 December, 1858 - p.2)




Checking every edition of the 1858 Glasgow Sentinel for adverts for Buchanan’s two poetry books, the following advert appeared in every issue. I still have no idea what ‘Alliance Trousers’ are.


4. Robert Buchanan Snr. and the early years of The Glasgow Sentinel


The Glasgow Herald (14 April, 1851 - p.8)


The Glasgow Herald (18 April, 1851 - p.8)


Robert Buchanan Snr. presumably bought The Glasgow Sentinel at this auction on 18th April, 1851. Information concerning how he financed the acquisition was revealed in his bankruptcy hearings in 1860:

“I commenced business in Glasgow in 1851 as proprietor of the Glasgow Sentinel newspaper. I was then possessed of no capital; but I raised £600 upon a life insurance policy with the assistance of some friends in London. With £500 of this sum, and my own acceptances for £330, I purchased the copyright, plant, and book debts of the Sentinel from the then proprietors.”

The Glasgow Sentinel was a weekly newspaper of 16 pages. There was a final issue of this length on 19th April, 1851, then it appeared as a 4 page paper until 31st May when the following announcement appeared:


From the issue of 7th June, 1851 on, The Glasgow Sentinel was an 8 page paper (at least, going by the remaining copies in the B. L. online archive) and the editorial page carried this quotation from Tom Paine’s The Rights of Man beneath the title:


As well as being a newspaper proprietor, Robert Buchanan Snr. was also involved in the local politics of Glasgow, and stood (unsuccessfully) as a candidate in the municipal elections of 1852 and 1854.

The Glasgow Sentinel (24 July, 1852 - p.5)


The Glasgow Sentinel (23 October, 1852 - p.1)


The Glasgow Sentinel (6 November, 1852 - p.5)


The Glasgow Sentinel (28 October, 1854 - p.5)


The Glasgow Sentinel (11 November, 1854 - p.3)


More information about Robert Buchanan Snr. is available on the following pages:

Robert Buchanan Snr.

The Bankruptcy of Robert Buchanan Snr.



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Harriett Jay


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