1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Duncombe

William Clarke and Robert Shelton Mackenzie, in The Georgian Era: Memoirs of the most eminent Persons who have flourished in Great Britain (1832-34) 3:524.



WILLIAM DUNCOMBE was born in London, in 1690; and, at an early age, obtained a situation in the Navy-office, but subsequently renounced it, and devoted himself to literature. He published a translation of Racine's Athaliah; edited, separately, the works of Mr. Needler, Mr. Hughes, and the Rev. Mr. Say; and, in 1734, produced, at Drury Lane, his tragedy of Lucius Junius Brutus. It met with merited success; but the chief work of Mr. Duncombe, who died in 1769, was a series of imitations of the poems of Horace. In this he was assisted by his son John, who became a fellow of Benet College Cambridge, and was, in 1766, nominated, by Archbishop Secker, one of the six preachers in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1770, he was appointed master of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury, and of that of St. Nicholas, Hartledown, and died in 1785. Besides several poems inserted in the collection of Dodsley and others, and of which The Feminead is the chief, he wrote several papers in the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, and edited a second impression of Gostling's work about Canterbury, Archbishop Herring's Letters, &c. His wife, who was the daughter of Highmore, the painter, deserves mention as the authoress of the story of Fidelia, published in The Adventurer.