James Boswell died in 1795 believing he had touched and kissed a cache of Shakespeare's original letters and papers discovered by a Mr. Ireland. His friend, Edmond Malone, publicly exposed the lot as a forgery just a year later.
James SomervilleBorn 1698
Son of James Somerville and Janet Murray. Married (1724) to Anne Bayuntun (d. 1734) and (1736) to Frances Rotherham (d. 1755).
According to Rogers in Boswelliana, Somerville was a "nobleman of singular urbanity and considerable literary culture".
Life with Boswell:
Little is known about Boswell's connection with Lord Somerville. Early biographers, such as Charles Rogers in Boswelliana (1874), believed that they didn't meet until 1761, when Somerville invited Boswell to his table, following an account of London which Boswell had had published in a local Edinburgh periodical.
Pottle, however, suggested that they met some years before that time. This interpretation is supported by certain references by Boswell to "Lord Somerville's kindness to me at a very early period" (TYE, p. 36), by the fact that Lord Somerville was a major personality in Edinburgh's theatrical community, and by the fact that some references in the 1759 pamphlet A View of the Edinburgh Theatre, which was probably written by Boswell. Some reviews in the pamphlet clearly referred to (even paraphrased) reviews probably written by Lord Somerville in the early 1750s. Boswell and Somerville had a shared interest in theatre and poetry.