1780 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Edwards

John Nichols, in Select Collection of Poems with Notes Biographical and Historical (1780-82) 6:103-04.



Thomas Edwards, esq. had a good paternal estate at Turrick in Bucks; and was the last of his family, as appears by his 5th Sonnet in Dodsley, where he pathetically laments the loss of four brothers, and as many sisters. He was an excellent scholar, having been thoroughly grounded in the Classics at Eton School, whence he was removed to King's College, Cambridge. He afterwards applied himself in Lincoln's Inn to the study of the law (his father and grandfather having been of that profession). He spent the last 17 years of his life principally at Turrick; died on a visit to his friend Mr. Richardson's at Parson's Green, the 3d of January, 1757, aged 58; and was buried at Ellesborough, in Buckinghamshire. His nephews (sister's sons) were his heirs. He was equally distinguished for his genius and the goodness of his heart. His Canons of Criticism did him great credit, both as a critic and as a scholar, and of course provoked the vengeance of Dr. Warburton, which he wreaked very illiberally in a note on the Dunciad (IV.567); of which Mr. Edwards was more susceptible than he need have been, deeming his gentility impeached by the words "a Gentleman, as he is pleased to call himself, of Lincoln's Inn; but, in reality, a Gentleman only of the Dunciad," &c. Thirteen of his Sonnets are printed in Dodsley's, eight in Pearch's, and four in this Collection. Twenty-seven others may be seen in the last edition of his Canons of Criticism, 1765. He was also author of a pamphlet called Free and candid Thoughts on the Doctrine of Predestination. See Dr. Akenside's and Mrs. Chapone's Odes to him.