1883 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Quillinan

William Bates, in Maclise Gallery (1883; 1898) 524.



EDWARD QUILLINAN, the poet, was born of Irish parents, at Oporto, August 12th, 1791. He was educated the army, as a cornet by purchase, in the Queen's Bays. When quartered at Canterbury, he formed an attachment to Jemima A. D. Brydges, the second daughter of Sir Egerton Brydges, — not the fourth, as I have (page 223) inadvertently stated, — whom he married in 1817. This lady, by whom he had two daughters, met her death in 1822, by her dressing gown catching fire, and lied buried in Grasmere churchyard, where is a monument to her memory from a design by Chantrey. Nearly twenty years after, in 1841, Mr. Quillinan married Dora Wordsworth, daughter of the poet, who too was taken from him, in 1847. His own death took place July 8th, 1851, at Grasmere, where, in the cemetery of St. Oswald's, his remains were interred, in acquiescence with the REQUEST expressed in a sonnet of exquisite tenderness and beauty:—

Two graves, in Grasmere Vale, yew-shaded both,
My all of life, if life be love, comprise.
In one the mother of my children lies,
Fate's blameless victim in her bloom of youth:
The other holds the constancy and truth
That never fail'd me under darker skies,
When subtle wrongs perplex'd me. Her whose eyes
Saw light through every wildering maze uncouth.
Between those graves a space remains for me:
O lay me there, wherever I may be
When met by Death's pale angel; so in peace
My dust near theirs may slumber, till the day
Of final retribution or release
For mortal life's reanimated clay.

An interesting memoir of this most refined, and unjustly neglected poet, by his friend William Johnson, is prefixed to the elegant edition of his Poems, published by Moxon, 1853, 8vo, pp. 268.