1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

Giles Jacob, in Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of our most considerable English Poets (1720) 9-11.



This Gentleman, now Living, is Descended from a Good Family in Dorsetshire, but was born at Corsham in Wiltshire. He is the Son of Mr. Robert Blackmore, an Attorney at Law, who Educated him first at a Country School; from whence in the Thirteenth Year of his Age, he was remov'd to Westminster, and in a short time after sent to the University at Oxford, and enter'd a Commoner of St. Edmund's Hall; where he continu'd upwards of thirteen Years. He then Travell'd into Italy, and at the University of Padua took his Doctor's Degree in Physick; and having seen a great part of France, Germany and the Low Countries, after he had been abroad two Years and a half, he return'd to England. Coming to London, he enter'd upon the practice of Physick, and not long after, he was chosen Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians by the Charter of King James the second. He was sworn Physician in Ordinary to King William, in 1697. was honour'd by that Prince with a Gold Medal and Chain, and was likewise Knighted by him. Upon Queen Anne's Accession to the Throne, he was appointed one of her Physician's, and continued so for some time. Sir Richard is an Excellent Physician, and a good Poet: A Man of great Learning, good Manners, and extensive Humanity, he has oblig'd the World with the following Pieces.

I. Prince ARTHUR. An Heroick Poem, in Ten Books. Folio, printed first 1695. afterwards in Duodecimo, 1715.

II. King ARTHUR. An Heroick Poem, in Twelve Books. Fol. Printed 1697. This Poem is Corrected and Revised for another Impression.

III. A Paraphrase on JOB, with the Songs of MOSES, DEBORAH, &c. Fol. first printed 1700. afterwards in Duodecimo, 1716.

IV. A Satire upon Wit. Folio, 1700. This Piece made a great noise, and rouz'd the spleen of the Modern Writers.

V. A Hymn to the Light of the World, with the CARTONS of RAPHAEL URBIN. Fol. Printed in the Year 1703.

VI. ELIZA. An Heroick Poem, in Ten Books. Folio, 1705. This Piece likewise Corrected and Revis'd for another Impression.

VII. Advice to the Poets. A Poem on the Duke of Marlborough's Victories. Fol. 1708.

VIII. The Kit-Cats, A Poem. Fol. 1708.

IX. Instructions to VANDERBANK. A Sequel to the Advice to the Poets. Fol. 1709.

X. The Nature of Man. A Poem, in Three Books. 8vo, 1711.

XI. CREATION, A Philosophical Poem. Demonstrating the Existence and Providence of a God, in Seven Books, 8vo. First Printed 1712. and printed twice since in Duodecimo.

Mr. Dennis speaking of this Piece, says "We have lately been Entertain'd and Instructed by an Admirable Philosophical Poem, which has equall'd that of Lucretius, in the Beauty of it's Versification, and infinitely surpass'd it, in the Solidity and Strength of it's Reasoning."

XII. Essays upon several Subjects. in Two Volumes, 8vo. Printed in 1716 and 1717. In the Year 1718 was printed A Collection of Poems on various Subjects. Containing all the small Pieces above-mention'd, with several never before Publish'd, viz. 1. CREMES. A Satire, written in the late Reign. 2. The Story of Don CARLOS Prince of Spain. 3. An Ode to the Creator. 4. A Hymn to the sacred Spirit. 5. On Repentance. 6. On Retirement, &c. Sir Richard has now by him in Manuscript, ready for the Press.

I. AELFRED. An Heroick Poem in Twelve Books.

II. A New Version of the PSALMS.