1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Monck Berkeley

Stephen Jones, in Biographia Dramatica; or, A Companion to the Playhouse (1812) 1:34-35.



This gentleman, who was born Feb. 8, 1763, at Bray, in the county of Berks, was the son of the Rev. George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne. At twelve years of age he was sent to Eton school, and soon after went into the Long Chamber, where he frequently felt the castigating rod of the master, Dr. Barnard, who was a rigid disciplinarian; not because he was deficient in abilities, but because he loved to associate with those who thought it meritorious to transgress the commands of their superior. When sixteen years old, his father took him away, and became his tutor himself for two years; after which he was sent to the university of St. Andrew, in Scotland; where he continued three years and a half. At nineteen years of age, he was elected a member of the Antiquarian Society of Edinburgh. He afterward became a gentleman-commoner of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and took the degree of LL.B. On leaving the university, he was admitted a student of the Inner Temple; and, from his close application to the study of the law, would probably, had he lived, have become one of the greatest ornament of that profession. He was a man of a very singular character; but possessed many amiable qualities. His poems, which prove him to have had a strong genius and a brilliant imagination, were published after his death by his mother, in 4to. preceded by a tedious preface, of more than five hundred pages, in which she details every trifling circumstance, relating to him and her family, that she could recollect; and which very few will have patience enough to peruse. He was the author of,

1. Nina. Com. 8vo. N.D. [1787].

2. Love and Nature, a musical piece in one act. Performed at the Dublin Theatre, in Marcy 1793. 4to. 1797.

He died Jan. 26, 1793, aged 29, after a short illness.