1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Newcomb

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 23:111-12.



THOMAS NEWCOMB, M.A. son of a worthy clergyman in Herefordshire, and great grandson, by his mother's side, to the famous Spenser, was born in 1675, and was, for some time, educated at Corpus Christi college, Oxford; but we do not find his name among the Graduates. He was afterwards chaplain to the second duke of Richmond, and rector of Stopham in Sussex, in 1734, when he published a translation of Velleius Paterculus. For some time before this he lived at Hackney, in rather distressed circumstances. So early as 1718, he was author of an excellent poem, under the title of Bibliotheca, which is preserved in the third volume of Nichols's Select Collection of Miscellany Poems, and on which Dr. Warton thinks Pope must have formed his goddess Dulness, in the Dunciad. Besides the many productions of Dr. Newcomb reprinted in that collection, he was author of several poems of merit; particularly of The last Judgment of Men and Angels, in twelve books, after the manner of Milton, 1723, folio, adorned with a fine metzotinto portrait; of another, To her late majesty queen Anne, upon the Peace of Utrecht; An Ode to the memory of Mr. Rowe; and another, To the memory of the countess of Berkeley. He also translated several of Addison's Latin poems, and Philips's Ode to Mr. St. John.

After Dr. Young had published his celebrated satires, Mr. Newcomb, who was very intimate with him, printed, 1. The Manners of the Times, in seven Satires. 2. An Ode to the Queen, on the happy accession of their Majesties to the Crown, 1727. 3. An Ode to the Right Honourable the Earl of Orford, on Retirement, 1742. 4. A Collection of Odes and Epigrams, &c. occasioned by the Success of the British and Confederate Arms in Germany, 1743. 5. An Ode inscribed to the Memory of the late Earl of Orford, 1747. 6. Two Odes to his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, on his return from Scotland, and on his Voyage to Holland, 1746. 7. A Paraphrase on some Select Psalms. 8. The Consummation, a Sacred Ode on the final Dissolution of the World, inscribed to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1752, 4to. 9. A Miscellaneous Collection of Original Poems, Odes, Epistles, Translations, &c. written chiefly on political and moral subjects; to which are added, Occasional Letters and Essays, formerly published in defence of the present government and administration, 1756, a large volume in 4to. 10. Vindicta Britannica, an Ode on the Royal Navy, inscribed to the King, 1759, 4to. 11. Novus Epigrammatum Delectus, or Original State Epigrams and Minor Odes, suited to the Times, 1760, 8vo. 12. The Retired Penitent, being a poetical Version of one of the Rev. Dr. Young's Moral Contemplations. Revised, approved, and published, with the Consent of that learned and eminent Writer, 1760, 12mo. 13. A congratulatory Ode to the Queen, on her Voyage to England, 1761, 4to. 14. On the Success of the British Arms. A congratulatory Ode addressed to his Majesty, 1763, 4to. 15. The Death of Abel, a Sacred Poem, written originally in the German language, attempted in the style of Milton, 1763, 12mo. 16. In 1757, he published Versions of two of Hervey's Meditations, in blank verse. And, in 1764, the whole of them were printed in two volumes, 12mo, inscribed to the right hon. Arthur Onslow, sir Thomas Parker, and lady Juliana Penn. Mr. Nichols also supposes, that Dr. Newcomb was the author of A Supplement to a late excellent poem, entitled Are these things so? 1740; and of Pre-existence and Transmigration, or the new Metamorphosis; a Philosophical Essay on the Nature and Progress of the Soul; a poem, something between a panegyric and a satire, 1743. Dr. Newcomb died probably about 1766, in which year his library was sold, and when he must have been in his ninety-first year.