|Period of Activity||active c. 1820-1838|
Frances Jamieson's maiden name was Thurtle, and she was living in Brompton, London, when, on 1 March 1820, she married Alexander Jamieson (1782–1850), MA, LLD, originally of Bute, who was then a teacher. He is moderately well known for his celestial charts and atlas, various educational works and a book on life assurance. They shared the same publisher, and the tenour of much of Frances’ writing was suited to the educational purposes of the schools which her husband ran. By the time of her marriage she had already obtained some success with her first works. These had included a moral tale Ashford Rectory, or the Spoiled Child Reformed (1818), as well as histories of France and Spain, before, in 1820, she published the first of her two Popular Voyages volumes. These were intended for the entertainment and instruction of younger readers, by means of fictitious accounts of travel densely packed with information: the first volume dealt with the British Isles and Europe, the second (1825) encompassed Asia, Africa and America. She also tried her hand at a ‘romance’ (The House of Ravenspur, 1822) and a tragedy in five acts (Cadijah, Or The Black Palace (1825).
In 1822 the Jamiesons were in Kensington, then in 1824 at Heston House on Hounslow Heath, and from 1826 to 1838 their school was the Wyke House Academy in Middlesex, which was advertised as a preparation for the Army, Navy, civil engineers, architects and surveyors. Following their bankruptcy in 1838, Alexander became an actuary. He suffered a stroke and moved to Bruges, Belgium, where he died.
Ian Ridpath, ‘Alexander Jamieson, celestial map maker’, Astronomy & Geophysics, vol. 54 (2013), pp. 1.22-1.23.
The Gentleman’s Magazine: Historical Chronicle (1820), p. 369.
- Popular voyages and travels throughout the Continent & islands of Europe: in which the geography, character, customs, and manners of nations are described, and the phenomena of nature most worthy of observation are illustrated on scientific principles / by Mrs. Jamieson, (late Miss Thurtle,) (Author of travel text)