1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ambrose Philips

Thomas Campbell, in Specimens of the British Poets (1819; 1845) 412.



AMBROSE PHILIPS, the pastoral rival of Pope, was educated at Cambridge, and distinguished for many years in London as a member of clubs witty and political, and as a writer for the Whigs. By the influence of that party he was put into the commission of the peace soon after the accession of George I., and, in 1717, was appointed one of the commissioners of the lottery. When his friend Dr. Boulter was appointed primate of Ireland, he accompanied the prelate, received considerable preferments, and was elected member for Armagh in the Irish Commons. He returned to England in the year 1748, and died in the following year, at his lodgings near Vauxhall. The best of his dramatic writings is the Distrest Mother, a translation of Racine's Andromache. His two other tragedies, the Briton, and Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, are not much better than his pastorals.