1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Samuel Wesley

John Nichols, in Select Collection of Poems with Notes Biographical and Historical (1780-82) 7:98-99n.



This excellent Divine was born at Winterborn Whitchurch in Dorsetshire, of which his father was vicar; and admitted of Exeter College, Oxford, 1684; was rector of South Ormesby and Epworth, in the county of Lincoln; and died April 25, 1735. He was a very voluminous author; having published, besides other things, Maggots, or Poems on several subjects, 1685, 8vo; Elegies on Queen Mary and Archbishop Tilloston, 1695, folio; The Life of Christ, an heroic Poem, 1693, folio; reprinted with large additions and corrections in 1697; The History of the Sacrament; and Dissertations in Librum Jobi, for which last proposals were circulated in 1729, and which were finished after his death, by his son Samuel, 1735. His poetry, which is far from being excellent, incurred the censure of Garth; but he made ample amends for it by the goodness of his life, and the Dissertations on Job. He left a very numerous family of children; four of whom are not unknown in the annals of English literature; viz. 1. Samuel, sometime usher of Westminster school, author of an excellent Poem, called The Battle of the Sexes, and several humorous tales, printed, together with other poems by him, in 4to, in 1736, and afterwards in 12mo. He died Nov. 6, 1739, being at that time head master of Tiverton school. 2, 3. John and Charles, the two celebrated Methodist Preachers. 4. Mrs. Wright, authoress of several Poems printed in the sixth volume of the Poetical Calendar.