1910 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Miss White

William Prideaux Courtney, in Dodsley's Collection of Poetry (1910) 119-21



A poem in vol. v 83-84 [of Dodsley's Collection of Poems] is headed with the words "transcribed from the Rev. Mr. Pixell's parsonage garden near Birmingham, 1757." Pixell, too, was among the friends of Shenstone. He is understood to have been the Rev. John Prynne Parkes Pixell, son of the Rev. John Pixell of Birmingham, and his Christian name of Prynne is said to have been derived from his ancestor William Prynne. He was born in 1725; was awarded a scholarship at the Birmingham Free School in 1744 (Joseph Hill, Bookmakers of Old Birmingham, pp. 47-8, where several persons of the name of Pryne Parkes are mentioned); and matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford, on 13 March 1743-4, having entered as a Commoner on the previous day. The records of the University contain no evidence that he ever took a degree. He is mentioned by Jones of Nayland in his life of Bishop Horne as being with Phocion Henley of Wadham and Short in Worcester, "friends then well known in the University for their abilities in music" (Works of Horne, ed. 1809, 1. 9-10)....

In 1750 Pixell was presented to the vicarage of Edgbaston, and in 1759 he married a Miss White. A letter written to her on 2 July, 1759, a short time before her marriage, is the property of the Rev. C. H. V. Pixell, of St. Faith, Stoke Newington. An urn with a Latin inscription and English lines, now for the most part illegible, which was given to Pixell by Shenstone, is in the rectory gardens at Frampton Cotterell, near Bristol. His love of puns is mentioned in Shenstone's letters (Add. MSS. 27548, 2 March and 7 Dec. 1759), and he corresponded with Dodsley (ib. 28959, 15 March 1758, and 8 Feb., 1759).

Pixell died on 29 July, 1784, and was buried in the chancel of Edgbaston Church. A tablet to his memory is in the south aisle of the chancel, but it seems to err in calling him M.A. His son Charles, of St. John's College, Cambridge, who died 12 May 1848, in his eighty-fifth year, was Vicar of Edgbaston for upwards of fifty-four years....