1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Dodd

Anonymous, in Bell's Classical Arrangement of Fugitive Poetry (1789-97) 7:163.



The Author [of the African Prince], eldest son of a wealthy clergyman, vicar of Bourne in Lincolnshire, was born May 19, 1729; and sent at the age of sixteen to the University of Cambridge, where he was admitted sizer of Clare-Hall. In 1750 he took his batchelor's degree with great reputation, in 1758 his master's, and in 1766, that of doctor of laws. Having married and taken orders, on the foundation of the Magdalene Hospital he was appointed preacher; in 1763 he obtained from Bishop Squire, the prebend of Brecon; in 1765 was nominated one of the King's chaplains, and was afterwards presented to Hocliffe in Bedfordshire. Indulging himself in a profligate extravagance beyond what his income would support, he was weak enough to write an anonymous letter to the Lady of Bathurst who was at that time Chancellor, offering a sum of money, if through her interest he might be promoted to St. George's, Hanover Square. The discovery of this folly hastened his ruin. He was struck off the list of King's chaplains in consequence, and as his extravagance knew no limits, he was prompted to forge a bond from the Earl of Chesterfield, for which he was tried at the Old Bailey, and being fully convicted, was executed at Tyburn, June 27, 1777.