1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Wolcot

Peter L. Courtier, in Lyre of Love (1806) 2:79.



Extensively known by the literary appellation of PETER PINDAR, Doctor Wolcott is allied to a family long reputably esteemed in Devonshire, where he was born, at Dodbrook near Kingsbridge. After a course of general education, followed up by the medical instructions of his uncle, a surgeon at Fowey, who designed him his successor, Wolcott, in 1769, took the resolution of accompanying Sir William Trelawney to Jamaica. Disappointed in views he here conceived, of assuming clerical orders, he returned to England, in company with lady Trelawney, and, at Truro, resumed the profession to which he had been bred. On the public life of Dr. Wolcott, which opened shortly after this period, with his Epistle to the Reviewers, it were superfluous to enlarge: however discordantly appreciated, it is sufficiently understood. He is said latterly to have resumed the studies and pursuits that engaged his earlier years.

The satirical fame of Dr. Wolcott has proved detrimental to the due estimation of powers of a very different description, which he possesses in an eminent degree. His songs will be admired, when the corruscations of wit have ceased to irradiate his memory.