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MS 30 Fonds James Beattie, Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic, poet, essayist and moral philosopher: papers c 1758 - c 1799
MS 30/2 Series Correspondence to James Beattie 1760 - 1800

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Collection GB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Level Item
Ref No MS 30/2/13
Alt Ref No MS 30 c.13
Title James Mercer to James Beattie from Corke
Date 5 February 1768
Extent 1 Item
Administrative History James Mercer [1734-1804] One of Beattie's most steadfast friends. Son of a Jacobite who had fled to France after Culloden. He was student at Marischal College from 1748 to 1752, where he was one year senior to Beattie. Against the advice of his Jacobite parents he enlisted in the British army at the outbreak of the Seven Years War. He probably became Bettie's friend around 1761-1762, when he returned briefly to Scotland. He served again in Germany in 1763 and then he was for some years in Ireland. He retired from the army in 1772. Though a professional soldier, his greatest interest was in literature, especially that of the ancient classics of France. The letters between him and Beattie reflect their shared literary interests. A book of his poems was edited by Sylvester Douglas, Lord Glenbervie. He was one of the very few friends that Beattie saw regularly in his final years
Description Mercer brought forth a small copy of verses addressed to the genius of Loch Chorib where he was quartered in 1766. Beattie says he has forsworn the muse to become a mighty prose writer. Beattie mentions Gray's imitations of Norwegian poetry. He would be grateful to beattie for a perusal of them but even more for a perusal of Beattie's original work.
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