Thomas Purney studied at Merchant Taylors' School before entering Clare College Cambridge as a pensioner in 1711 at the age of 16 (B.A. 1716). His epic, Edward the Black Prince, has not been found, though a "lost" treatise on pastoral was edited by Earl R. Wasserman in 1948. In 1719 Purney became Ordinary of Newgate, with the lucrative opportunity to publish criminal "confessions" (two survive). After 1725 his health declined; he resigned his post in 1727 and probably died shortly afterwards.
1717Pastorals: Advertisement concerning the Language.
1717Pastorals: Beauty and Simplicity.
1717Pastorals: Lallet or the Tender Shepherdess.
1717Pastorals: Paplet: or, Love and Innocence.
1717Pastorals: The Bashful Swain.
1717Pastorals: The Preface.
1717[The true Nature of Pastoral. Part I.]
1717[The true Nature of Pastoral. Part II.]
1717[The true Nature of Pastoral. Part III.]
1717[The true Nature of Pastoral. Part IV.]
Pastorals, after the simple manner of Theocritus. 1717.
Pastorals, viz The bashful swain and Beauty and simplicity. 1717.
A full enquiry into the true nature of pastoral. 1717.
The Chevalier de St George: an heroi-comick poem in six cantos. 1718.
The last day: a poem in xii books by the late J[ohn] Bulkeley, ed. Purney. 1720.
The ordinary of Newgate's account of the behaviour, confession, and last dying speech of Matthias Brinsden. 1722.
The ordinary of Newgate's account... of the malecfactors ... executed on the 9th of November 1722. 1722.
A true account of Capt J. Massey. 1723.
The behaviour ... of the four malefactors that was executed May the 24th 1725. 1725.
Works, ed. H. O. White. 1933.