Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (30th January 1730 (old calendar?) - 13 February 1809) was born in Gerard St. London, the 2nd son of Charles Mordaunt and his 2nd wife, Anne (Scroup). As a teenager Thomas Mordaunt was page of honor to 9-year-old Princess Augusta. He became an officer of the British Army, serving in the Seven Years' War under the rank of major (at which time he reportedly wrote "The Call"), and eventually attaining the rank of major general. He also became a fellow of the Royal Society. He was buried in All Saints, Fulham, on 18th February, 1809.
History of the poem
The quatrain of "The Call" is the 11th stanza of a 14-stanza poem published in the October 12, 1791 edition of The Bee (a weekly literary magazine published in Edinburgh, Scotland) under the title, “A Poem, said to be written by Major Mordaunt during the last German War. Never before published.” Scott used the 11th stanza as an epigraph to Chapter 34 of his novel, Old Mortality, attributed to "Anonymous". Although a copy of that issue of The Bee was found in Scott's library after his death, it was only in the summer of 1920 that James Rankin of Galashiels discovered the connection, which was written about in the September 11, 1920 Literary Digest.
The single quatrain of "The Call", properly credited to Mordaunt, was included in the 1939 edition of the Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900.
This is a signed article by User:George Dance. It may be edited for spelling errors or typos, but not for substantive content except by its author. If you have created a user name and verified your identity, provided you have set forth your credentials on your user page, you can add comments to the bottom of this article as peer review.