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Stewart, J

STEWART, J (?JAMES), of Baldynneis (fl. 1590), Scottish verse writer, is known as the translator of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. The work is an abridgment in twelve cantos and has the historical interest of having preceded Sir John Harington's translation (1591). The volume containing this version and other poems (of indifferent quality) is preserved in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. It bears the title Ane Abbregement of Roland Fwiovs, translait ovt of Aroist: togither vith sym Rapsodies of the Avthor's yovlhfvll braine, and last ane Schersing ovt of Irew Felicitie; composit in Scotis meiter be J. Stewart of Baldynneis. This MS. appears to be the original which was once in the possession of James VI. Extracts are printed in Irving's History of Scotish Poetry (1861). t STEWART, JOHN (1740-1822), British traveller, was born in London of humble parentage. After an unruly career at school he entered the service of the East India Company at Madras in 1763, but he threw up his position about two years later and became interpreter to Hyder Ali, afterwards serving as a general in his army; subsequently he served the nabob of Arcot, whose chief minister he became. Having enriched himself in this capacity, he began a series of travels through India, Persia, Ethiopia and Abyssinia, which earned him the nickname of " Walking Stewart." About 1783 he returned to Europe, where he cut a curious figure by wearing Armenian dress. He crossed over to America in 1791 and had various adventures, but soon came back to Europe, and made the acquaintance of Wordsworth in Paris and later of De Quincey in Bath. Becoming short of money, he again went to America, where he supported himself by lecturing. Having returned to Europe, Stewart's fortunes began to mend. In 1813 a claim he had made against the nabob of Arcot was settled by the East India Company for 10,000, and he took rooms in London and settled down to enjoy life, airing his opinions on literature and art. He died on the aoth of February 1822. De Quincey (see Collected Writings, 1890, vol. iii.) gives various particulars of him.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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