1912 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Stratford

D. J. O'Donoghue, in Poets of Ireland (1912) 442.



REV. THOMAS STRATFORD — Four Pastoral Essays in Verse ... Paradisi Amissi Liber Primus Graecae, 1770, 4to; Fontenoy, a poem in 9 books, — Book I, and Four Pastoral Essays, London 1782, 4to; Lord Russel, a tragedy, 1784, 8vo; The Labyrinth, from the French of Corneille, 1795, 8vo; Darius, a tragedy (not published).

Born at Tocher, Co. Westmeath, August 8, 1735, being the son of a respectable farmer named Robert Stratford. B.A., T.C.D., 1757. After leaving T.C.D. he became a tutor in the family of a Mr. Nugent, of Westmeath, and married his daughter. Was at first curate of Scrabby, on the border of Cavan, but Lord Belvedere gave him the living of Gallstown, Co. Westmeath, with 300 a year. There he wrote his Greek version of the first three books of Paradise Lost. In 1782 he went to London, taking the MSS. of his plays and poems. Lord Russell was played at Drury Lane in 1784, with a prologue by Henry Lucas (q.v.) and an epilogue by Mrs. Battier (q.v.). O'Keefe says (Recollections vol. 2, pp. 102-4) that Stratford bored him by reading his plays to him. Returned to Ireland disheartened, died soon after.