1851 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Quillinan

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine NS 36 (October 1851) 438.



July 8. At Loughrigg Holm, Rydal, Westmorland, aged 60, Edward Quillinan, esq.

In early life Mr. Quillinan was a Lieutenant in the 3rd Dragoon Guards. When quartered in garrison at Canterbury he distinguished himself by his literary effusions. An elegant and piquant satire, entitled Ball-Room Votaries, was understood to be his production, and he conducted and was a principal contributor to a local periodical entitled The Whim. His poetic talents introduced him to the friendship of Sir Egerton Brydges, then residing at Lee Priory, and in 1817 he married Jemima-Anne-Deborah, second daughter of the literary baronet. This lady's death in 1822 was occasioned by a lamentable accident, her clothes having caught fire in her own apartment.

While residing at Lee Priory, many of Mr. Quillinan's poetical productions were printed at the private press there established. Two of these were, Dunluce Castle, 1814; and The Sacrifice of Isaby, 1816. Another of his poems, Monthermer, was published in 1815.

About the year 1823, the poet Wordsworth visited Sir Egerton Brydges, which led to an acquaintance between the two families, and subsequently Mr. Quillinan married the only daughter of the great poet of the Lakes. This lady also died just four years before him, on the 9th July, 1847. She had published shortly before a Journal of a Few Month's Residence in Portugal, &c. At the time of Mr. Wordsworth's decease some extracts were published from Mr. Quillinan's journal, descriptive of the bard's last moments. The only prose volume from his pen is one entitled, The Conspirators; or, the Romance of Military Life, in a three volumes octavo, embodying the writer's recollections of the Peninsular War.

Mr. Quillinan was an accomplished scholar, more especially in Portuguese literature, and was a critical writer of no mean ability. Precision of style and pungency of remark, wholly untinctured by ill-nature, characterised the compositions which he now and then contributed to the periodical press. He had for many years past taken up his abode in the beautiful valley between Ambleside and Rydal, near the residence of the late Mr. Wordsworth, in whose recently published biography will be found frequent and honourable mention of his name. His death, which took place after a severe illness of only a few days' duration, has renewed the gloom which the death of his father-in-law, little more than a year ago, cast over the district. His remains were interred in Grassmere church, in that romantic and grief-hallowed spot where repose the remains of Mr. Wordsworth and his daughter.