He was born in Glasgow, the son of a successful sawyer. After completing his literary course at the University of Glasgow, Grahame went in 1784 to Edinburgh, where he worked as a legal clerk, and was called to the Scottish bar in 1795. However, he had always wanted to go in for the Church, and when he was forty-four he took Anglican orders, and became a curate first at Shipton, Gloucestershire, and then at Sedgefield, Durham.
His works include a dramatic poem, Mary Queen of Scots (1801), The Sabbath (1804), British Georgics (1804), The Birds of Scotland (1806), and Poems on the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1810). His principal work, The Sabbath, a sacred and descriptive poem in blank verse, is characterized by devotional feeling and by happy delineation of Scottish scenery. In the notes to his poems he expresses enlightened views on popular education, the criminal law and other public questions. He was emphatically a friend of humanity--a philanthropist as well as a poet.
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.