1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Russell

William Howley, Memoir in Russell, Sonnets (1789) v-vi.



The Reverend THOMAS RUSSELL, Author of the Poems here presented to the Public, was the Son of an eminent Attorney at Bridport in Dorsetshire. After spending some years at a Grammar-School in that County he was removed to Winchester, and in 1780 elected Fellow of New College, Oxford. In this situation he was eminently distinguished by his classical knowledge, and an extensive acquaintance with the best Authors in the French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German languages. But his progress in literature was checked by a lingering illness, which at length terminated in a consumption of the lungs, and shortly after in his death. This event took place at Bristol, whither he had retired for the recovery of his health, on the 31st of July, 1788, in the twenty-sixth year of his age.

Whether the pieces contained in this collection were originally intended for publication, or not, is uncertain, but it is hoped that they will do no discredit to the memory of the Author, and that some allowance will be made for any imperfections which may occur, when it is considered that he was prevented from correcting them by an untimely death.