Robert Tannahill, a Scottish poet, born in Paisley, June 3, 1774, died May 17, 1810. He worked all his life as a weaver. His volume of "Poems and Songs" (1807) became very popular; but while revising it he fell into a state of despondency, aggravated by the refusal of Constable to print a new edition, burned all his new and revised poems, and drowned himself. An enlarged edition of his remains, with a memoir, was published at Glasgow in 1838, and reprinted at Paisley in 1874.
Robert Vernon, an English collector of paintings, born in 1774, died in London, May 22, 1849. He amassed a fortune in commercial pursuits, a great portion of which was devoted to the purchase of pictures, principally by British artists. As his collection grew beyond the capacity of his house, he presented the most valuable portion to the government in December, 1847. The British national gallery, founded in 1824, contained at the time of Mr. Vernon's donation but 41 pictures by native artists, and the Vernon collection, as it is still called, may be considered the nucleus of a national gallery of British art on a considerable scale. It was for some time exhibited at Marlborough house, but has now been removed to the South Kensington museum. It comprises 162 pictures, a marble group by Gibson of Hylas and the nymphs, and a number of busts.
Robert Von Langer, a German painter, born in Dusseldorf in 1783, died at Haidhausen, Oct. 6, 1846. He was a son of the historical painter Johann Peter von Langer (1756-1824), and became professor at the academy of Munich and chief director of the national galleries, and organized the Pinakothek. He illustrated Dante's Inferno, and his other works consist chiefly of frescoes from Biblical and ancient history. It was mainly through his efforts that Rubens's " Battle of the Amazons" and other works were restored.
Robert Walsh, an American author, born in Baltimore in 1784, died in Paris, Feb. 7, 1859. He was educated at the Roman Catholic colleges of Baltimore and Georgetown, and relinquished the practice of law in Philadelphia to devote himself to literature. About 1836 he went to reside in Paris, where from 1845 to 1851 he was United States consul. He published " A Letter on the Genius and Disposition of the French Government," after a visit to Europe (1810); "The American Review of History and Politics" (quarterly, 1811-'12); "Correspondence respecting Russia," with Robert Goodloe Harper (1813); "Essay on the Future State of Europe" (1813); "An Appeal from the Judgments of Great Britain respecting the United States" (1819); and "Didactics, Social, Literary, and Political" (2 vols., 1836). He edited the "American Register" for 1817-'18, the "National Gazette" newspaper in Philadelphia in 1820-36, and the " American Review " in 1827-'36.
Robert Wodrow, a Scottish historian, born in Glasgow in 1679, died March 21, 1734. He was educated at the university of Glasgow, studied theology, and in 1698 became university librarian. In 1703 he was ordained minister of the parish of Eastwood. He published a "History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution" (2 vols, fol., Edinburgh, 1721-'2); a life of his father (1828); and a serie3 of memoirs of ministers of the church of Scotland, selections from which were printed for the Maitland club (3 vols., 1834-'45). He left a large collection of manuscripts, chiefly relating to Scottish ecclesiastical affairs, parts of which have been printed by the Wodrow society, established in 1841.