1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Boyse

Anonymous, in Bell's Classical Arrangement of Fugitive Poetry (1789-97) 11:171-72.



The author of this and several other Poems of merit was one of sixteen children, and the son of Joseph Boyse, a Dissenting minister of Dublin, well known for his controversial writings with Archbishop King, and his orthodox persecution of the excellent Emlyn. Samuel, born in 1708, after receiving his grammatical education in Dublin, was sent at eighteen to the college at Glasgow, where, marrying before he was twenty, he returned to Dublin, and his extravagant conduct impoverished his father. Quitting again the place of his nativity, to which he had rendered himself a disgrace, he returned to Scotland, and in 1731, published at Edinburgh a volume of Poems, which procured him reputation, and introduction to the Great, and a recommendation to Pope from the Duchess of Gordon. Of the latter, however, he never availed himself. As he depended for subsistence on his pen, it must be expected that his productions would be more numerous than excellent. One however in particular deserves to be mentioned, viz. The Deity, which was recommended by Fielding in Tom Jones, and handsomely spoken of by Mr. Pope. The vices of the Author being such as to reduce him to the extremity of want, it became his practice, after having pawned his clothes for the sake of pampering his appetite, to sit up in bed with his arms through the blankets and thus procure the necessaries of life. In this situation, holding a pen, this unhappy man was found dead at his lodgings in Shoe-lane, where he was buried in 1749, at the Parish expense.