William Whitehead


William Whitehead, Poet Laureate, was the son of a prosperous Cambridge baker. After study at Winchester College he entered Clare College, Cambridge as a sizar in 1735 (B.A. 1739, Fellow 1742, M.A. 1743). Whitehead then became private tutor in the earl of Jersey (1745), traveling in that capacity into Germany and Italy (1754-56). He produced tragedies at Drury Lane and was secretary and registrar to the Order of the Bath (ca. 1755) and Poet Laureate (1757). His works were edited with a memoir by William Mason.


1735 ca.The Vision of Solomon.
1744An Ode to a Gentleman, on his pitching a Tent in his Garden.
1748To the Honourable [Charles Townsend].
1748 ca.To the Same [Charles Townsend], on the Death of a Relation.
1751An Hymn to the Nymph of Bristol Spring.
1762A Charge to the Poets.
1763Ode for the New Year, 1763.
1774Hymn to Venus, on a great Variety of Roses being planted around her Cottage.
1774The Sweepers.
1776Ode for the New Year, Jan. 1, 1776.


The danger of writing verse. 1741.
Anne Boleyn to Henry the Eighth: an epistle. 1743.
An essay on ridicule. 1743.
Atys and Adrastus: a tale, in the manner of Dryden's fables. 1744.
On nobility; an epistle. 1744.
The Roman father. A tragedy. 1750.
A dissertation on the shield of Aeneas, in Works, ed. J. Warton. 1753.
An hymn to the nymph of Bristol Spring. 1751.
Poems on several occasions. 1754.
Fatal constancy. 1754.
Creusa, Queen of Athens. A tragedy. 1755.
Elegies, with an ode to the Tiber. 1757.
Verses to the people of England. 1758.
A charge to the poets. 1762.
The school for lovers. A comedy. 1762.
A trip to Scotland [a farce]. 1770.
Plays and poems. 2 vols 1774, vol. 3, 1788.
Variety: a tale for married people. 1776.
The goat's beard: a fable. 1777.