1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Rymer

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 216.



A Gentleman born in the North of England, and who had University Education. He was a Member of the Society of Gray's-Inn, and succeeded Mr. Shadwell as Historiographer to King William III. He was a Man of great Learning, and a Lover of Poetry; this led him to the Perusal of those Authors which set him up for a Critick; but in his View of the Tragedies of the last Age, he has been more severe than just in his Criticisms upon Shakspear; and I am of the Opinion with Mr. Langbain, that his Talents for Dramatick Poetry were very inferior to those of the Persons he censur'd. He writ one Tragedy.

EDGAR, or The English Monarch; an Heroick Tragedy, 1678. Dedicated to King Charles II. For the Plot, consult W. Malmesbury, Huntingdon, Pol. Virgil, Higden, Grasion, Stow, &c. He likewise publish'd some Original Poems and Translations. He had not a Genius for Poetry, but was an excellent Antiquary and Historian. Some of his Pieces relating to our Constitution are very good; and his valuable Collection of the FOEDERA, &c. will be a lasting Monument of his Worth.