Born: Sep­tem­ber 13, 1787, at his fa­ther’s house in Gates­head, Eng­land.

Died: Sep­tem­ber 27, 1855.

Buried: Jes­mond Old Ce­me­te­ry, New­cas­tle-up­on-Tyne, Eng­land.


John was the son of Lieu­ten­ant Cuth­bert Ad­am­son, Roy­al Navy, and his sec­ond wife, Ma­ry Huth­waite.

He was edu­cat­ed at New­cas­tle Gram­mar School, and in 1803 went to Li­sbon, Por­tu­gal, to work in the of­fice of his eld­er broth­er Blyth­man, a mer­chant in the ci­ty. While there, he stu­died Por­tu­guese lan­guage and cul­ture.

He left Por­tu­gal for Eng­land in 1807, when a French in­va­sion threat­en­ed.

As a re­ward for Adam­son’s ser­vic­es to Por­tu­guese li­te­ra­ture, the Queen of Por­tu­gal con­ferred the knight­hoods of Christ and of the Tow­er and Sword on Adam­son.

He was a fel­low of the So­ci­ety of An­ti­quar­ies of Lon­don, and be­longed to ma­ny Eng­lish and con­tin­ent­al phi­lo­so­phi­cal and an­ti­quar­ian bo­dies.




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