James Sheridan Knowles’s Elocution Classes and Summer Course Premiums, November 1821

In the Glasgow Herald, Friday 2nd November 1821, page 3, James Sheridan Knowles advertised the opening of his Elocution classes on the 6th of November, at the usual times of 6 to 7, and 7 to 8 a.m., and from 5 to 6 p.m. The Junior Class was 3 to 4 p.m. In addition to these, Mr. Knowles proposed a Course in Pulpit Elocution, where the student’s attention would be exclusively directed to the Reading of the Scriptures and the delivering of Sermons. The class would run from 4 to 5 p.m. He also cautioned any gentleman proposing to attend his ordinary classes “against providing themselves with the usual TEXT-BOOK, as he is preparing one of his own, which will be published immediately.”

The advertisement includes “Premiums adjudged by the Votes of the Class”, in the Summer Course’s 6 o’clock and 7 o’clock classes, and were awarded for Reading, Recitation and Essay. Nine students are named, one of whom, Francis Muir, from Strathaven, who attended the 7 o’clock class, received the First Premium for Reading and also for Recitation.

Another of his students was Robert Pollok (1798-1827), the Scottish poet, and author of The Course of Time: A Poem in Ten Books, 1827. David, his brother, refers to this in The Life of Robert Pollok, 1843, page 28: “he attended a class for elocution, which was taught by the now celebrated Mr James Sheridan Knowles; and made considerable improvement in the art.”