Frederick George Scott (1861-1944) in Canadian Singers and their Songs, 1919. Coutesy Internet Archive.

by George J. Dance

Frederick George Scott
Born April 7, 1861
Montreal, Quebec
Died January 19, 1944 (aged 82)
Quebec City, Quebec
Nationality Canada Canadian
Citizenship British subject
Education M.A.
Alma mater Bishop's U, King's College (London)
Notable award(s) Distinguished Service Order, CMG, FRSC

Rev. Frederick George Scott CMG DSO FRSC (April 7, 1861 - January 19, 1944) was a Canadian poet and prose author, known as the "Poet of the Laurentians."



Scott is sometimes classed as a member of Canada's Confederation Poets, a group that included Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, Archibald Lampman, and Duncan Campbell Scott.[1] He was the father of poet F.R. Scott.

F.G. Scott published 13 books of Christian and patriotic poetry. He was an imperialist who wrote many hymns to the British Empire, eulogizing his country's roles in the Boer Wars and World War I. Many of his poems used the natural world symbolically to convey deeper spiritual meaning.

Youth and educationEdit

Canon Fred Scott (from his book)

Canon Scott in World War I, from The Great War As I Saw It, 1922. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Scott was born in Montreal, Canada.

He earned a B.A. from Bishop's College, Lennoxville, Quebec, in 1881, and an M.A. in 1884. He studied theology at King's College, London in 1882, but was refused ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada for his Anglo-Catholic beliefs.


In 1884 Scott became a deacon. In 1886 he was ordained an Anglican priest at Coggeshall, Essex. He served initially at Drummondville, Quebec, and then in Quebec City, where he became rector of St. Matthew's Anglican Church.

In April 1887, Scott married Amy Brooks, who would bear him 6 children.

In 1889, anthologist W.D. Lighthall included 2 of Scott's poems in his anthology, Songs of the Great Dominion, and also used a Scott quotation, "All the future lies before us / Glorious in that sunset land", on the title page as the book's epigraph.[2]

In 1914, well over the age of 50, Scott enlisted in World War I. He held the rank of Major and served as the senior chaplain to the 1st Canadian Division.[3] After the war he became chaplain of the army and navy veterans.[4] In the early 1920s he wrote a memoir or World War I, The Great War As I Saw It.

During the Quebec Conference, 1943, Scott was invited by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt to a private meeting where he read some of his poetry.

Scott died in Quebec City, leaving a daughter and 4 sons.


In 1885 Scott printed his earliest chapbook, Justin, and other poems, later included in The Soul's Quest, and other poems (London 1888). "Several of Scott's early narrative poems, and his later didactic novel Elton Hazelwood (1891), describe typically Victorian crises of faith and the recognition of 'life and death as they are'.... Scott's many religious poems and his novel offer a more explicit rendering of the Victorian pessimism underlying the poetry of his more significant contemporaries, Charles G.D. Roberts and Archibald Lampman."[4]

John Garvin, who included Scott's poems in his 1916 anthology Canadian Poets , wrote of him: "Frederick George Scott, 'The Poet of the Laurentians,' has this supreme gift as a writer: the art of expressing noble, beautiful and often profound thoughts, in simple, appropriate words which all who read can understand. His poems uplift the spirit and enrich the heart." [3] "The Unnamed Lake" has been called his best-known poem.[4]

Garvin included a quotation from M.O. Hammond writing in the Toronto Globe: "Frederick George Scott's poetry has followed three or four well-defined lines of thought. He has reflected in turn the academic subjects of a library, the majesty of nature, the tender love of his fellowmen, and the vision and enthusiasm of an Imperialist. His work in any one field would attract attention; taken in mass it marks him as a sturdy, developing interpreter of his country and of his times. Whether he writes of 'Samson' and 'Thor,' of the 'Little River,' or whether he expands his soul in a 'Hymn of Empire,' his lines are marked by imagination, melody, sympathy and often wistfulness. Living on the edge of the shadow-flecked Laurentians, he constantly draws inspiration from them, and more than any other has made articulate their lonely beauties. His pastoral relations with a city flock give colour and tenderness to not a few of his poems of human relationships. His ardent love of the Empire gives rein to his restless, roving thoughts and has finally drawn him to the battle-front as a chaplain." [3]

The Canadian Encyclopedia calls Scott "an Anglican priest, minor poet and staunch advocate of the civilizing tradition of imperial Britain, who instilled in his son a commitment to serve mankind, a love for the regenerative balance of the Laurentian landscape and a firm respect for the social order." [5]


In 1900 Scott was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada during the Quebec Tercentenary. At the ceremony he read an ode he had written for the occasion titled "Canada."[3]

In 1916 Scott was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. In 1918 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.[4]




  • The Key of Life: A mystery play. Quebec: Dussault & Proulx, 1907. 


  • Elton Hazelwood: aAmemoir by his friend, Henry Vane. New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1892; Edinburgh; London : O. Anderson and Ferrier, 1893. 


  • O come, Let Us Adore Him: A short manual of instructions for those assisting at the Eucharistic sacrifice. Quebec: `907. 
  • The Great War As I Saw It. Toronto: F.D. Goodchild, 1922. 
  • The Story of the Canadian Corps, 1914-1934. Toronto: Canadian Veteran Associates, 1934. 

18 To France, by Frederick George Scott Short Poetry Collection 050 POEM

18 To France, by Frederick George Scott Short Poetry Collection 050 POEM

Except where noted, bibliographic information courtsy WorldCat.[8]

See also Edit

References Edit


  1. "Confederation Poets," Canadian Poetry, Web, Mar. 21, 2011.
  2. William Douw Lighthall, Songs of the Great Dominion: Voices from the Forests and Waters, the Settlements and Cities of Canada (Walter Scott [Windsor Series], 1889), Google Books, Web, Apr. 30, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 John Garvin, "Frederick George Scott," Canadian Poets (Toronto: McClelland, Goodchild, and Stewart, 1916), 75, Web, Mar. 23, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Sandra Djwa, "Frederick George Scott Biography," Encyclopedia of Literature, 8668,, Web, May 10, 2011.
  5. Keith Richardson. "Scott, Francis Reginald (Frank)," Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988), 1961.
  6. "Frederick George Scott," Canadian Poetry, UWO, Web, Apr. 19, 12011.
  7. Search results: Frederick George Scott, Open Library, Web, May 7, 2011.
  8. Search results = au:Frederick George Scott, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Nov. 9, 2013.

External linksEdit

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