1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Tickell

Stephen Jones, in Biographia Dramatica; or, A Companion to the Playhouse (1812) 1:1713-14.



RICHARD TICKELL was descended from the secretary of Mr. Addison, who is known to the poetic world by the poems which have been published in his name. Some fortune was made in the family; but our author's inheritance lay principally in his talents. Mr. Tickell's education is said to have intended for the law; but his disposition was too volatile and desultory for that study. The common mother of invention (necessarily) drove him to the booksellers, and he published The Project, a poem; The Wreath of Fashion, &c. But poetry not being his taste, these things hardly made him known. Fortune, however, in one of her caprices, introduced him to Mr. Brummell, private secretary to Lord North, who conceived a strong friendship for our author, and patronised him with a generosity and warmth that did him honour. After procuring him a pension of two hundred a year, which was a decent maintenance for him and a Miss B—, by whom he had several children, he found him attached to an amiable young lady, Miss Mary, the second daughter of Mr. Linley, the musician, of Drury Lane, whom he afterwards married. Mr. Brummell exerted himself with additional humanity when he found him with so fair a prospect of happiness; he settled a part of his pension on his former family, from a proper compassion to his children, and obtained for him a place in the Stamp-office.

These instances of favour animated the genius of our author, and he produced a parody on the speeches at the opening of Parliament, called Anticipation. The thought was fortunate, and the imitations were happy. Administration was served, and his patron satisfied. He made several subsequent attempts of the same kind, in the Cassette Verte, the Adventures of a political Louse, &c.; but they were too much in the manner of Anticipation to succeed.

At length, though the interest of his friend Mr. Brummell, and as a reward for his political writings in support of ministry, he was made a commissioner of stamp-duties, with a salary of 500 a year.

After the death of his first wife, by whom he had three children, Mr. Tickell married a daughter of Captain Leigh, of the Berrington East Indiaman, who survived him. His death happened Nov. 4, 1793, and was occasioned by a fall from a window of his apartments in Hampton Court palace. His dramatic pieces are two, viz. 1. The Carnival of Venice. C.O. 1781. N.P. 2. The Gentle Shepherd. Past. altered 1781. N.P.