1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Jackson Pratt

Stephen Jones, in Biographia Dramatica; or, A Companion to the Playhouse (1812) 1:582.



This is a living author, long known under the names of COURTNEY MELMOTH. We are informed, that he is a native of St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire, and was born on Christmas Day, 1749-50. We are told, that he was brought up to the church, but threw off the gown to attempt the stage, and, assuming the name of Melmoth, performed the characters of Philaster and Hamlet at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in 1774, but with little or no success. After his failure in this attempt, he subsisted for some time chiefly by writing. He then became a bookseller at Bath; in which city, and at other places, he occasionally gave lectures on the English language. As an author, he assumed the name of Courtney; and both his assumed names have frequently been united. He has produced numerous works, both in poetry and prose, possessing considerable merit and popularity; but our limits will not admit, and the plan of our work does not require, our giving a list of any but his dramatic productions, which are as follow: 1. Joseph Andrews. F. 1778. N.P. 2. The Fair Circassian. T. 8vo. 1780. 3. School for Vanity. C. ivo. 1785. 4. New Cosmetic. C. 8vo. 1790. 5. Fire and Frost. C. O. 8vo. 1805. 6. Hail Fellow, well met. D. 8vo. 1805. 7. Love's Trials. C. O. 8vo. 1805. 9. The Mine. Dr. Bal. N.P. 9. The Saxon Princess. Trag. N.P. 10. The Vale of Petrarch. Dr. Poem. N.P.