1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Shepherd

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 79 (January 1809) 91-92.



At the parsonage at Wetherden, co. Suffolk, in his 78th year, after an illness of three days, sincerely regretted and respected by his friends, the Rev. Richard Shepherd, D.D. F.R.S. archdeacon of Bedford, and rector of Wetherden and Helmingham, both in Suffolk, and given him by Chancellor Thurlow. He was formerly of Corpus Christi college, Oxford; where he proceeded M.A. 1757; B.D. 1765; and D.D. 1788. He was an instance of very considerable erudition united with rare condescension; and, though he filled an office of dignity in the Church, he was not the less attentive to the humbler but equally important duties of a parish-priest. His publications, which were various, all breathe the spirit of a mild benevolence, and evince the liberal and enlightened Divine, added to the pious and rational Philosopher. His first publication was, an excellent Ode to Love, which appeared in 1756, and was republished under the title of The Philologist. He was also author of the Review of a Free Enquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil, 1759, 8vo. Odes Descriptive and Allegorical, 1761, 4to. The Nuptials, a Didactic Poem, in Three Books, 1762, 4to. Letters to the Author of A Free Enquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil. To which are added, Three Discourses: 1. On Conscience; 2. On Inspiration; 3. On a Paradisical State; 1768, 12mo. Hector, a Dramatic Poem, 1770, 4to. Requisition of Subscription to the XXXIX Articles and Liturgy, a Sermon, Gal. v. 1, 1771, 4to. Bianca, a Tragedy, 1772, 8vo. A Sermon on Conscience, 1776, Rom. ii. 14, 15, 8vo. A Sermon on Inspiration, preached on Whitsunday, 1776, 8vo. Conscio de Statu Paradisi, at Oxford, 1776, Eccles. vii. 30. Miscellanies, 2 vols, 1776. The Dying Hero, 1779, 4to. Free Examination of the Socinian Exposition of the prefatory Verses of St. John's Gospel, 1783, 8vo. An Essay on Education, in a Letter to William Jones, Esq. 1784, 4to. The Ground and Credibility of the Christian Religion, in a Course of Sermons preached before the University of Oxford, at the Bampton Lecture, 1788, 4to. Polyaenus' Stratagems of War, translated from the original Greek, 1793, 4to. Two Sermons on a Future State, 1797, 8vo; re-printed, with a Third Sermon, 1799. A Charge to the Reverend the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Bedford, delivered at the Easter Visitation, 1801, 4to. Notes, Critical and Explanatory, on the Gospel and Epistles of St. John, 1804, 4to; the magnum opus of this learned and original author. A volume of Sermons, 1806, 8vo. The New Boethius; or, of the Consolations of Christianity, 1806, 8vo; inscribed to his Brother, the Rev. Henry Shepherd, B.D. rector of Brandburton, "in memory of an excellent Father, who formed their minds on those principles which only can sustain the shocks of Adversity with fortitude; as a pledge of fraternal affection; and a tribute to a studious life passed in private; and to those virtues with which he has adorned the shades of obscurity." Religious Union perfective, and the Support of Civil Union, 1807, 8vo. His latest publication was No False Alarm; or, a Sequel to Religious Union, &c.; being the Result of a Parochial Visitation through the Archdeaconry of Bedford, 8vo. He published also, several years ago, a Latin Poem, in quarto, printed for Flexney, the title of which I do not recollect, but believe it was on the Immortality of the Soul. He is also said (and I believe on good authority) to be the author of Canons of Criticism, extracted from the Beauties of Maty's Review, published in 1784, 8vo.