1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. William Cowper of Chester

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 10:426.



WILLIAM COWPER, M.D. and F.S.A. practiced physic many years at Chester with great reputation. He published (without his name), 1. A Summary of the Life of St. Werburgh, with a historical account of the images upon her shrine (now the episcopal throne) in the choir of Chester. Collected from ancient chronicles and old writers. By a citizen of Chester. Published for the benefit of the Charity-school, Chester, 1749, 4to; but by this work; which he is said to have stolen from the MSS. of Mr. Stone, a great collector of antiquities respecting that church, he gained very little reputation. He was also author of Il Penseroso: an evening's contemplation in St. John's churchyard, Chester. A rhapsody, written more than twenty years ago; and now (first) published, illustrated with notes historical and explanatory, London, 1767, 4to, (addressed, under the name of M. Meanwell, to the rev. John Allen, M.A. senior fellow of Trinity college, Cambridge, and rector of Torporley in Cheshire); in which he takes a view of some of the most remarkable places around it, distinguished by memorable personages and events. He died Oct. 20, 1767, while he was preparing a memorial of his native city. He had also made collections for the county, which were left in the hands of his brother, an attorney near Chester, but consist of little more than transcripts from printed books and minute modern transactions, interweaving, with the history of the county and city, a great mass of other general history.