Byrom, John

Byrom, John
(1692-1763)
   Born near Manchester, John Byrom was educated at Chester, Merchant Taylors' School, Manchester, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected fellow in 1714. He earned his living by teaching his own method of shorthand or "tychygraphy," which marked a stage in the development of shorthand. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1724 and contributed two papers on shorthand. The death of his elder and unmarried brother in 1740 relieved him from the necessity of teaching shorthand. His popular pastoral poem Colin and Phoebe appeared in The Spectator (October 1714), and his collected Miscellaneous Poems were published in 1773. Byrom also wrote some forceful hymns, the most famous of which is the Christmas hymn "Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn." Some of his other poems: "A Full and True Account of a Horrid and Barbarous Robbery," "Contentment; or, The Happy Workman's Song," "Epigram on the Feuds between Handel and Bononcini, where he likens their differences to those between Tweedledum and Tweedledee!" "Jacobite Toast," "My Dog Tray," "My Spirit Longeth for Thee," "On the Origin of Evil," "On Two Monopolists," "Tom the Porter."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Cyber Hymnal (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/index.htm). The Faber Book of Comic Verse. Michael Roberts, and Janet Adam Smith, ed. Faber & Faber, 1978. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). The New Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse. Roger Lonsdale, ed. Oxford University Press, 1984. The Oxford Book of Satirical Verse. Geoffrey Grigson, ed. Oxford University Press, 1980. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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